Marcia Hultman

Cabinet Secretary

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South Dakota e-Labor Bulletin

September 2019

Celebrating Manufacturing Week in South Dakota Statistically

South Dakota will be celebrating Manufacturing Week Sept. 30 to Oct. 4, and we wanted to get in on the action. So here are a few statistical reasons the state’s Manufacturing industry is worth celebrating. These are from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program, a rich source of state workforce data worthy of its own recognition.

  • South Dakota’s Manufacturing industry is a major source of employment and earnings in South Dakota, accounting for more than 12 percent of all workers in privately owned establishments and more than 14 percent of those employers’ payrolls in 2018.
  • This industry alone added more than 2,000 workers to the state’s economy in the last five years, growth of 4.8 percent.
  • Manufacturing had more actual growth in worker levels during 2018 than any other South Dakota supersector, and ranked second in percentage growth. Manufacturing worker levels increased by 1,361 (3.2 percent) from 2017 to 2018, reaching 44,442.
  • Annual pay of Manufacturing workers gained $1,443 (3.0 percent) from 2017 to 2018 for a new annual average of $49,320.

By definition in the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), Manufacturing is the process of converting raw materials, components or parts into finished goods and products which meet customers’ expectations or specifications. The production involves machines, tools or chemical and biological formulation. Manufacturing encompasses human activity ranging from handicraft to high tech. Manufacturing commonly employs a human-machine setup with division of labor in a large-scale production. The manufacturing sector is closely linked with engineering and industrial design. Learn more about the NAICS.

Looking at QCEW data for Manufacturing data on a more detailed industry level, we learn:

  • The Transportation Equipment Manufacturing (NAICS 336) subsector grew more than any other subsector in 2018. The increase of 673 workers was mostly attributable to the Motor Vehicle Body and Trailer Manufacturing and Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturing industry groups. This subsector noted the expansion of several existing establishments which added workers in response to increased demand for various manufactured products. Based on new information collected from one of our employer surveys, a business was reclassified within the Manufacturing sector, causing multiplication of worker levels for this subsector.
  • Also noteworthy was the over-the-year growth in Machinery Manufacturing, concentrated mainly within Agriculture, Construction and Mining Machinery Manufacturing and Metalworking Machinery Manufacturing. The growth was spread among many of the larger employers in these industry groups. These large companies continued to hire new employees throughout the year to increase production to meet the demand for their various products.
  • Strengthening the Manufacturing worker growth was the category Agricultural, Construction and Mining Machinery Manufacturing. Several large employers expanded operations throughout 2018, requiring additional labor. Production increased to meet the demand for their various products.

All this Manufacturing data is available from the QCEW program not only for statewide South Dakota, but for its metro areas and counties as well. For example:

  • The Sioux Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area's Manufacturing sector industry had 312 establishments in 2018, with employment of 14,220 and annual pay of $49,360.
  • The Rapid City Metropolitan Statistical Area’s Manufacturing sector industry had 182 establishments in 2018, with employment of 2,817 and annual pay of $48,496.
  • Minnehaha County had the largest Manufacturing employment of any county with 11,912 and annual pay of $49,752.
  • The county with the highest annual pay for Manufacturing workers in 2018 was Marshall County at $60,783.

Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages Program is Rich Data Source

These are just a few examples of the types of workforce data available from the QCEW program. If you are searching for comprehensive data on South Dakota employers, workers and pay by industry, location or size class, the QCEW program delivers.

LMIC conducts this statistical program in cooperation with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Each year LMIC publishes an annual online report on QCEW data and narrative analysis, providing a comprehensive summary of what’s going on in South Dakota’s industries. In concert, the archived yearly reports provide a rich history of South Dakota industry employment and wages.

2018 Summary Report Shows Power of QCEW Data

Examples of information available in the annual report provide good snapshots of all the data available in the QCEW program. Using the 2018 summary as an example, we see this program covers data on the number of establishments, employment and wages for South Dakota. Here are a few highlights:

  • The average number of workers in South Dakota strengthened by 4,162 or 1.0 percent from 2017 to 2018.
  • South Dakota's average annual pay increased by $1,271 or 3.0 percent from 2017 to 2018.

Also included in the annual summary is a comprehensive overview, including narrative analysis, tabular data and a graphical look at the performance of each industry supersector, not just Manufacturing. These industry summaries provide insights about various economic activities affecting employment levels and pay. For example:

  • The Trade, Transportation and Utilities supersector had the largest number of establishments (8,452) and workers (85,733) in 2018. This is in part because retail trade accounted for almost half of the establishments and over half of the workers within this supersector.
  • The supersector group with the highest annual pay, at $60,159, was Financial Activities (which includes finance and insurance and real estate, rental and leasing).
  • At a more detailed industry sector level, Management of Companies and Enterprises retained its ranking of highest paid in 2018 with an average annual wage of $99,669. This sector is categorized within the Professional/Business Services supersector group.

Only Source of Employment and Wages by Employer Size Group

In addition to richly detailed employment and wage data by industry, the QCEW program produces data on establishments, employment and wages stratified by size of establishment. The size class of each establishment is determined by the March employment level. These size class data are available at the state, county and MSA level by industry for private ownership. Again, using the 2018 report for examples:

  • Employers in the 0-9 workers size class had the largest number of establishments, accounting for 77.9 percent of all establishments.
  • The distribution of employees by establishment size shows a different picture than the distribution of establishments. Smaller businesses (fewer than 10 workers) have a much smaller slice of the pie, employing only 19.4 percent of the covered workers in South Dakota in 2018.
  • The data on size of employers is also available by county. For example, the 2018 summary showed Minnehaha county has 16 large establishments (having 500 or more workers each).

Tracking Longer-Term Trends

Quarterly and annual data from the QCEW program are available in the virtual labor market data system, providing a wealth of historical information. In fact, the number of workers data is available for each month within a quarter. The table below shows the number of establishments, average number of workers, total wage, average weekly wage and average annual wage for the past 18 years—all data available thanks to the QCEW program. This data includes private and government ownership categories. Except for a few recessionary years, the data shows stable growth statewide each year.

South Dakota Establishments, Employment and Wages
Year Number of Establishments Average Employment Total Wage Average Weekly Wage Average Annual Wage
2001 29,381 364,716 $9,336,850,554 $492 $25,600
2002 29,366 363,325 $9,576,884,320 $507 $26,359
2003 29,671 364,256 $9,910,087,814 $523 $27,206
2004 30,213 369,627 $10,453,754,789 $544 $28,282
2005 30,938 375,699 $10,951,184,186 $561 $29,149
2006 31,368 383,856 $11,623,744,419 $582 $30,282
2007 31,945 392,068 $12,410,645,439 $609 $31,654
2008 32,306 397,109 $13,033,404,203 $631 $32,821
2009 32,361 389,410 $12,985,743,821 $641 $33,347
2010 32,493 389,199 $13,361,396,655 $660 $34,331
2011 32,790 393,750 $13,943,807,729 $681 $35,413
2012 33,088 400,473 $14,630,431,511 $703 $36,533
2013 33,416 404,648 $15,063,362,358 $716 $37,226
2014 33,761 410,939 $15,898,891,588 $744 $38,689
2015 34,380 416,017 $16,716,017,132 $773 $40,181
2016 34,783 420,465 $17,309,711,067 $792 $41,168
2017 35,127 422,753 $17,934,828,021 $816 $42,424
2018 35,611 426,917 $18,653,951,829 $840 $43,695
Source:Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, Labor Market Information Center, South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation, September 2019. Produced in cooperation with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Principles of the Program

The QCEW program is the most comprehensive data source available for detailed employment and wage information by industry, serving as a near census of monthly employment and quarterly wages.

The source of the majority of QCEW microdata is the employment and wage data reported by employers to the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation’s Reemployment Assistance (RA) program and to the Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) program. Employment covered by these unemployment insurance programs represents about 96 percent of all wage and salary civilian employment in the state. Learn more about the QCEW program.

Uses of the Data

QCEW data is used daily by individuals, private businesses, government agencies and researchers to make informed decisions, particularly regarding pay increases and industry growth. QCEW data are used in time series analyses, industry comparisons and in special studies such as analysis of wages by size of establishment. The data accurately reflect the extent of coverage of state unemployment laws and are used to measure unemployment insurance revenues; national, state and local area employment; and total and taxable wage trends.

See the 2018 QCEW annual online summary.

Use the virtual labor market data system to find quarterly or annual QCEW data for industries or geographic areas based on criteria you select.

Find technical notes about the covered worker and pay data available through the QCEW program.

Contact the Labor Market Information Center with any additional questions or for assistance using the virtual system.