Department of Labor and Regulation

Title - Labor Market Information Center

Rapid City Metro Area Profile - Local Employment Dynamics (LED)

About the Rapid City Metro Area

In order to qualify as a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), an area must have at least one urbanized area with a population of 50,000 or more, plus adjacent territory that has a high degree of social and economic integration with the core as measured by commuting ties. The Rapid City MSA consists of Pennington and Meade counties.

Rapid City MSA map


The following tables compare the area's total employment, new hires and average wages by age and gender for the fourth quarters of 2011 and 2012.

Total Employment

Total Employment: The estimate of the total number of jobs on the first day of the reference quarter.

In the fourth quarter of 2012, jobs totaled 58,689 for the Rapid City MSA, a 0.6 percent increase (344 jobs gained) over the year. The Accommodation and Food Service sector gained the most jobs while the Construction sector lost the most jobs compared to the same quarter in 2011. The Mining, Quarrying and Oil and Gas Extraction sector had the greatest percentage leap with the addition of 13 jobs (36.1 percent rise), but the jobs in this sector make up only 0.1 percent of total employment numbers for the fourth quarter of 2012.

Employment by Gender

In the Rapid City MSA, the workforce was 52 percent female and 48 percent male for the fourth quarter of 2012.

Pie Chart of Rapid City MSA Percentage of Workers by Gender

Women ages 45 to 54 years had the greatest decline with a 4.5 percent loss. The greatest increase was 9.1 percent for those 14 to 18 years.

Males in the 45 to 54 age group had the greatest overall decline at 4.8 percent. Employment levels for males 14 to 18 years increased by 20 percent over the year, more than double the next highest percentage increase (14- to 18-year-old females). The greatest total employment increase for this youngest group (both genders) occurred in the Accommodation and Food Services sector.

Table of Rapid City MSA Total Employment by Gender and Age Group

Hiring Activity

New Hires: The estimated number of workers who started a new job. More specifically, total hires who worked for an employer in the specified quarter and were not employed by that employer in any of the previous four quarters.

In the Rapid City MSA, total new hires decreased 3.3 percent from 2011 to 2012 (fourth quarters). The Finance and Insurance sector and the Other Services (except Public Administration) sector gained the most new hires; total new hires in the Construction sector declined the most when compared to the fourth quarter of 2011. Overall, new hires for females increased slightly while new hires for males declined by more than 7 percent.

Paralleling the overall new hire trends, the greatest climb in female new hire totals were also in the Other Services and the Finance and Insurance sectors. The greatest decline in new hires over the year was in the Accommodation and Food Services sector. Females held four of the top five spots regarding new hire level increases over the year. New hires in the eldest age group increased from 76 to 96, a 26 percent increase over the year; however, this age group's new hire total only makes up about 2 percent of all female new hires in the fourth quarter of 2012. New hires for females in the 19 to 21 group declined by 46 jobs, which equaled a 7.2 percent loss.

New hire levels for the majority of the male age groups declined over the year. The greatest numerical increases overall were in the Finance and Insurance and the Professional, Scientific and Technical Service sectors while new hire numbers in Construction declined the most. At 11.8 percent, the youngest group (14 to 18 years) had the only increase in new hire levels for the men. With an 11.2 percent drop, 35- to 44-year-old males had the steepest drop, followed closely by all the 45-plus age groups, all with more than a 10 percent decline.

Table of Rapid City MSA New Hires by Age Group


Average monthly earnings: The average monthly earnings of employees with stable jobs (worked at the same firm for the entire quarter). Earnings measures are a mix of full-time and part-time jobs (not adjusted for hours).

Overall, women's average monthly earnings increased by 3.7 percent. No age group declined in earnings. The smallest increase was less than one percent for the youngest group. Conversely, the eldest group had the greatest rise at 6.6 percent.

Overall, men's average monthly earnings increased 5.7 percent. With a 0.6 percent drop, males 19 to 21 were the only ones whose average earnings declined. The men in the 55 to 64 group on average earned 11 percent more over the year, the only group whose earnings increased by more than 10 percent..

Table of Rapid City MSA Earnings by Age Group

Rapid City MSA On The Map

The following graphics provide labor shed data (where people in the area live and work) for the Rapid City MSA. At the beginning of the second quarter in 2011 (the most current data available), 87.2 percent of people who lived in the Rapid City MSA had a primary job in the MSA. The other 12.8 percent lived in the MSA, but worked outside the area. Of those employed in the area, 18.9 percent commute from outside the MSA. A primary job is the highest paying job for an individual worker. Primary jobs are public- and private-sector jobs, one job per worker.

Rapid City MSA

Rapid City MSA labor shed map

About the Local Employment Dynamics (LED) Data

The LED partnership is the cornerstone of a program designed to develop new information about local labor markets. This partnership between state labor market information agencies and the Census Bureau supplies new measures known as Quarterly Workforce Indicators (QWI). The LED data compiled throughout this report by the U.S. Census Bureau is not reflective of labor market reports from other Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) programs.

Note: Federal government employment is not generally included in the QWI data. Exempted employment varies slightly from state to state due to variations in state unemployment laws, but generally also excludes many farmers and agricultural employees, domestic workers, self-employed non-agricultural workers, members of the Armed Services, some state and local government employees as well as certain types of nonprofit employers and religious organizations (which are given a choice of coverage or non-coverage in a number of states).

How is confidentiality addressed in the data?

The Census Bureau and the state partners are committed to protecting the confidentiality of the data in the LED files. Technically, the approach to avoid disclosure of individual information combines cell suppression methodology with the addition of statistical noise, controlling key measures to county employment levels as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

You can easily access the LED data tools on the U.S. Census Bureau's website. The Labor Market Information Center's economic analysts are familiar with the tools and are available to assist you. Please contact us as needed for assistance.

Marcia Hultman, Secretary
700 Governors Drive
Pierre, SD 57501-2291
Tel. 605.773.3101
Fax. 605.773.6184