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 53,810 in November 2019. 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
November 2019

South Dakota county outline map of labor supply estimates

Labor Force

This data is seasonally adjusted.

Preliminary estimates show South Dakota's unemployment rate ticked up 0.1 percent to 3.1 percent in November 2019. The labor force increased over the month by 900 workers (0.2 percent) to 469,700 workers. The level of unemployed increased by 400 workers (2.8 percent) to 14,600 workers. Increases in unemployment are typical this time of year.

South Dakota Unemployment Rates by County
Not seasonally adjusted
November 2019

South Dakota county map of unemployment rates

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 decreased by 2,400 (0.5 percent) from October 2019 to November 2019.

Leisure and Hospitality had the largest over-the-month decline with a decrease of 2,100 workers (4.4 percent) to 46,100 workers in November 2019. A little over half of this loss took place in the Rapid City Metropolitan Statistical Area. Historically, Leisure and Hospitality worker levels drop this time of year as the number of visitors decline as the weather turns cold and seasonal businesses reduce staff for the winter. Establishments included in this supersector are restaurants, hotels, golf courses, hotels and zoos.

Manufacturing dropped 600 workers (1.3 percent) over the month to 45,400 workers in November 2019. Durable Goods contributed to this decline with the loss of 600 workers (2.0 percent). Non-Durable Goods remain unchanged over the month with 16,600 workers. Durable goods are not immediately consumed and can be kept for a longer time, while non-durable goods are immediately consumed in one use or have a lifespan of less than three years.

Education and Health Services grew by 600 workers (0.8 percent) over the month. This supersector's worker level went from 73,400 workers in October 2019 to 74,900 workers in November 2019. This growth can be attributed to gains in Heath Care and Social Assistance.

Retail Trade increased 400 workers (0.8 percent) to 53,100 workers in November 2019. This type of growth is typical this time of year as retailers increase worker levels to prepare for the increase of shoppers during the holiday season.

Over-the-year comparisons

The total nonfarm wage and salaried worker level increased by 6,400 workers (1.4 percent) from November 2018 to November 2019. The top contributors to this gain were Education and Health Services; Wholesale Trade; Construction; Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities; and Other Services (except Public Administration).

Education and Health Services had a gain of 1,500 workers (2.0 percent), reaching 74,900 workers in November 2019. This gain is attributed to growth in Health Care and Social Assistance, as Educational Services worker levels remain unchanged over the year. Health Care and Social Assistance had a 2.3 percent increase with an addition of 1,500 workers. Hospitals had an increase of 700 workers (2.7 percent). The demand for health care services has increased due to the growing population and the increase of specialized procedures which require additional staff.

Wholesale Trade continued on an upward trend with a 6.5 percent increase over the year. Wholesale Trade added 1,400 workers, with its level going from 21,600 workers in November 2018 to 23,000 workers in November 2019. The Wholesale Trade sector consists of establishments engaged in wholesaling merchandise and rendering services incidental to merchandise. The merchandise in this sector consists of the outputs of agriculture, mining, manufacturing and certain information industries like publishing.

Construction noted an over-the-year increase of 1,000 workers (4.3 percent) to 24,400 workers in November 2019. Specialty Trade Contractors accounted for the majority of this increase with a gain of 800 workers (5.8 percent). Specialty Trade Contractors perform a specific construction activity, such as site preparation, pouring concrete, plumbing, painting or electrical work. Construction of Buildings, and Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction also showed growth on a smaller scale, adding 100 workers (1.7 percent) and 100 workers (2.8 percent), respectively.

Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities had over-the-year growth of 700 workers (5.1 percent). Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities went from 13,600 workers in November 2018 to 14,300 worker in November 2019. Examples of establishments in this industry include tow truck services, natural gas distribution, taxicab services, local and long-distance trucking, scheduled air passenger transportation and general warehousing.

Other Services (except Public Administration) had a 4.2 percent increase over the year with the addition of 700 workers. A little over 70 percent of this gain took place outside the Sioux Falls and Rapid City Metropolitan Statistical Areas. Examples of establishments in this sector include car repair shops, funeral homes, hair stylist salons, dry cleaning services, appliance repair services and religious organizations.