Marcia Hultman

Cabinet Secretary

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Labor Market Information Center

Overview of the Current Labor Market

The analysis below is based on the most current labor market data available at any point in time.

Labor Supply

The number of South Dakotans who would be available to staff a new or expanding business, or South Dakota's labor supply, was estimated at 53,060 in October 2018. Included in this labor supply are those who currently hold jobs (and would like to change) and those who, for a variety of reasons, do not have jobs.

South Dakota Labor Supply
October 2018

Map of labor supply estimates by county

Labor Force

This data is seasonally adjusted.

Preliminary estimates show the October 2018 South Dakota labor force increased over the month by 100 workers (0.0 percent) to 458,800 workers. The level of unemployed decreased by 100 workers (0.7 percent) to 13,600 workers.

South Dakota Unemployment Rates by County
Not seasonally adjusted
October 2018

Map of unemployment rates by county

Notes about labor force data

The unemployment rate represents the number of unemployed as a percent of the labor force. People are classified as unemployed if they do not have jobs, have actively looked for work in the prior four weeks and are currently available for work. People who were not working and were waiting to be recalled to jobs from which they were temporarily laid off are also included as unemployed.

Labor force estimates for South Dakota are produced by the Labor Market Information Center in cooperation with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The concepts and definitions underlying the labor force data come from the Current Population Survey (CPS), the household survey which is the official measure of the labor force for the nation. The statewide estimate of the number of nonfarm jobs is a component of the model used to produce the labor force estimates. Other data used in this model include the number of continued unemployment insurance claims and survey data from the Current Population Survey (CPS) which is specific to the state.

Although state specific data is used in the production of the labor force estimates for South Dakota, the state monthly model estimates are controlled in "real time" to sum to national monthly labor force estimates from the CPS. Therefore, variation in the estimates of the employed and unemployed are somewhat controlled by what is happening nationally.

South Dakota Nonfarm Wage & Salaried Workers by Industry

This data is not seasonally adjusted.

Over-the-month comparisons

Based on a monthly survey of South Dakota establishments, preliminary estimates show the total nonfarm wage and salaried worker level increased by 300 (0.1 percent) from September 2018 to October 2018. The largest gains came from the Government; Education and Health Services; Manufacturing; and Retail Trade sectors.

Government had a growth of 1.0 percent over the month with a gain of 800 workers. State Government added 100 workers (0.5 percent) and Local Government had an increase of 900 workers (1.8 percent) over the month. The Federal Government had a 1.7 percent drop from September 2018 to October 2018 with a loss of 200 workers.

Education and Health Services gained 600 workers (0.8 percent) over the month going from 72,600 workers in September 2018 to 73,200 workers in October 2018. The Educational Services sector and the Health Care and Social Assistance sector both produced gains over the month adding 200 workers (2.7 percent) and 400 workers (0.6 percent), respectively.

Manufacturing had an increase of 500 workers (1.1 percent). Durable Goods and Non-Durable Goods both contributed to this over-the-month increase. Durable Goods added 200 workers (0.7 percent) and Non-Durable Goods increased by 300 workers (1.9 percent). Durable Goods, such as cars, refrigerators and mobile phones, are not immediately consumed and can be kept for a longer time. Non-Durable Goods, such as cosmetics, cleaning supplies, and food and fuel, are immediately consumed in one use or have a lifespan of less than three years.

Retail Trade had a growth of 500 workers (1.0 percent) from September 2018 to October 2018. This type of gain is expected as stores begin to increase their worker levels as they prepare for the holiday season.

Leisure and Hospitality had an over-the-month loss of 1,900 workers (3.9 percent). Over the last 10 years, Leisure and Hospitality worker levels have continuously produced a loss over the September to October time frame.

Over-the-year comparisons

Based on a monthly survey of South Dakota establishments, preliminary estimates show the total nonfarm wage and salaried worker level increased by 7,900 workers (1.8 percent) from October 2017 to October 2018. South Dakota's total nonfarm worker level has been on an upward trend since 2010. Top contributors to this gain were Professional and Business Services; Manufacturing; Construction; and Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities.

Professional and Business Services continued its upward trend with the addition of 2,600 workers (8.3 percent) over the year. Professional and Business Services went from 31,400 workers in October 2017 to 34,000 workers in October 2018. This supersector consists of Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services; Management of Companies and Enterprises; and Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services.

Manufacturing had a 4.6 percent increase over the year with a gain of 2,000 workers to 45,600 workers in October 2018. Durable Goods accounted for 70 percent of this growth with the addition of 1,400 workers (5.1 percent). Non-Durable Goods also contributed to this increase adding 600 workers (3.8 percent) over the year.

Construction had an increase of 1,000 workers (4.2 percent) over the year. This sector went from 23,900 workers in October 2017 to 24,900 workers in October 2018. The Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction subsector had the biggest over-the-year percentage increase within this sector with a 10 percent growth gaining 400 workers. Specialty Trade Contractors had a gain of 3.6 percent adding 500 workers and the Construction of Buildings subsector grew 1.7 percent adding 100 workers over the year.

Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities had an over-the-year growth of 1,000 workers (7.6 percent). Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities has been on an upward trend since November 2017. Local and long-distance trucking, rural bus services, water treatment plants, postal delivery services, and refrigerated warehousing are examples of establishments in this industry.

Retail Trade continued a downward trend with a loss of 1,300 workers (2.5 percent) over the year. This sector went from 52,500 workers in October 2017 to 51,200 workers in October 2018. Technology has had an influence on this sector with the presence of online shopping and self-checkouts. As consumers continue to shop more online, there will be less of a demand for retail workers.

Wholesale Trade had an increase of 700 workers (3.4 percent) going from 20,700 in October 2017 to 21,400 in October 2018. The Wholesale Trade sector consists of establishments engaged in wholesaling merchandise and rendering services incidental to merchandise.

Leisure and Hospitality had a 1.3 percent increase over the year with the addition of 600 workers. This industry went from 46,800 workers in October 2017 to 47,400 workers in October 2018. Tourism plays a big part of this industry and October has a lot to offer including the opening day of the pheasant hunting season. Around the third Saturday in October, many people flocked to our state to take part of the pheasant hunting opener. Establishments included in Leisure and Hospitality are: hunting guide services, hunting camps, hotels, restaurants and coffee shops.

Government had an increase of 600 workers (0.7 percent) over the year. Local Government added 600 workers (1.2 percent) and the Federal Government gained 100 workers (0.9 percent) over the year. State Government had a loss of 100 workers (0.5 percent) from October 2017 to October 2018.