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 51,220 in October 2022. 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 2022

Map showing estimated labor supply for South Dakota counties. The same data is available in table format at

Labor Force

This data is seasonally adjusted.

Preliminary estimates show South Dakota's unemployment rate increased 0.1% to 2.4% in October 2022. The labor force decreased over the month by 300 workers (0.1%) to 477,800 workers. The level of unemployed increased by 200 (1.8%) to 11,300 persons unemployed.

South Dakota's October 2022 labor force of 477,800 increased compared to the October 2021 level of 470,000. The level of employed increased by 10,400 (2.3%); the level of unemployed decreased by 2,700 persons (19.3%). The unemployment rate decreased 0.6% to 2.4%.

South Dakota Unemployment Rates by County

October 2022

This data is not seasonally adjusted.

Map showing unemployment rates by county in South Dakota. The same data is available in table format at

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 1,100 (0.2%) from September 2022 to October 2022. This growth is considerably larger than traditional September to October gains. Over the last 10 years, worker levels have had an average growth of 300 workers from September to October.

Worker levels in Retail Trade bounced back in October after dipping in September. Retail Trade had an increase of 700 worker (1.4%), climbing to 51,800 workers in October 2022. Clothing boutiques, home furnishing stores, department stores, hardware stores, supermarkets, gasoline stations and souvenir stores are examples of some of the establishments in this sector. Gains in Retail Trade are likely due to establishments building their workforce to prepare for an increase in business during the holiday shopping season.

Education and Health Services worker levels increased 700 (0.9%) from September to October. Educational Services accounted for most of this growth with the addition of 500 workers (6.8%). Health Care and Social Assistance added 200 workers (0.3%), and Hospitals increased 100 workers (0.3%) in October 2022.

Leisure and Hospitality declined 3.3% over the month with a loss of 1,700 workers. Most of this loss took place in the Rapid City Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) (1,400 workers). This loss is consistent with historical trends as tourist destinations reduce staff to match a drop in visitors. This drop is lessened by an increase of hunters that flock to the state for pheasant hunting in October.

Government gained 500 workers (0.6%) in October 2022. Local Government accounted for this growth, adding 800 workers (1.6%). Growth in Local Government is a result of significant gains in Local Government Educational Services (1,200 workers). Growth in Educational Services is common this time of year as establishments continue to build their workforce during the beginning of the school year. Federal Government had a loss of 200 workers, and State Government declined 100 over the month.

Over-the-year comparisons

The total nonfarm wage and salaried worker level increased by 12,000 workers (2.7%) from October 2021 to October 2022. Over-the-year growth was scattered throughout many industries. The top three contributors to this gain were Leisure and Hospitality; Construction; and Professional and Business Services.

Leisure and Hospitality had the largest over-the-year growth, adding 3,700 workers (8.0%). As the demand for services in this supersector increases, so does the need for additional workers.

Construction gained 2,700 workers (10.4%), jumping to 28,700 workers in October 2022. Specialty Trade Contractors accounted for over half of this growth, adding 1,500 workers. Specialty Trade Contractors perform a specific activity, such as site preparation, pouring concrete, plumbing, painting or doing electrical work. Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction added 900 workers (20.0%), and Construction of Buildings increased 300 workers (4.7%). Growth in construction is driven by increased demand for housing and new commercial projects that come with population growth.

Professional and Business Services increased 2,300 workers (6.7%). A majority of the growth in this supersector took place in the Sioux Falls MSA (2,200 workers). Professional and Business Services includes a wide range of services frequently used by other businesses and occasionally households. Tax return preparation services, engineering consulting services, computer software consulting services, centralized administrative offices, temporary staffing services, landscaping services and garbage collection services are examples. Over-the-year growth is related to small gains in worker levels spread throughout many establishments.

Other Services (except Public Administration) added 1,400 workers (8.1%), climbing to 18,600 workers in October 2022. The Sioux Falls and Rapid City MSAs each added 500 workers over the year. Increased population growth drives the demand for services provided in this sector. Other Services (except Public Administration) include a wide variety of activities, including beauty salons, car washes, wedding planning services, civic and social organizations, general automotive repair shops and pet boarding services.

Education and Health Services worker levels increased 1,100 (1.4%) over the year. Health Care and Social Assistance accounted for this growth, adding 1,100 workers (1.6%) over the year. Hospitals added 900 workers (3.2%), jumping to 28,800 workers. Gains in Hospitals is related to population growth and advances in medical specializations, which increase the demand for workers. Educational Services remained unchanged over the year with 7,900 workers in October 2022.