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 49,570 in March 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
March 2019

map of South Dakota labor supply

 

 

Labor Force

This data is seasonally adjusted.

Preliminary estimates show the March 2019 South Dakota labor force increased over the month by 900 workers (0.2 percent) to 464,200 workers. The level of unemployed decreased by 100 workers (0.8 percent) at 13,200 workers.

South Dakota Unemployment Rates by County
Not seasonally adjusted
March 2019

map of South Dakota unemployment rate 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 2,700 (0.6 percent) from February 2019 to March 2019. Over the last 10 years, worker levels have consistently produced a gain over the February to March time frame.

Education and Health Services increased by 500 workers (0.7 percent) over the month to 74,300 workers in March 2019. This growth came from Health Care and Social Assistance as Educational Services remained unchanged over the month. Family physicians’ offices, chiropractors, hospitals, nursing homes, adoption agencies and day care centers are examples of establishments in Health Care and Social Assistance.

Manufacturing gained 400 workers (0.9 percent) over the month, going from 45,500 workers in February 2019 to 45,900 workers in March 2019. Durable goods accounted for this growth with the addition of 400 workers (1.4 percent). Durable Goods are not immediately consumed and can be kept for a longer time. Non-Durable goods remained unchanged over the month with 16,300 workers in March 2019. Non-Durable Goods are immediately consumed in one use or have a lifespan of less than three years.

Retail Trade added 400 workers (0.8 percent) to 51,600 workers in March 2019. Traditionally, the Retail Trade sector fluctuates during the year, reaching highs at the start of school (August) and the holiday season (November and December).

Leisure and Hospitality rose by 400 workers (0.9 percent). Worker levels commonly fluctuate due to the seasonality of this sector. Growth in this supersector can be attributed to increased travel for spring break and state tournaments.

Government continued an upward trend with a gain of 400 workers (0.5 percent). Local Government had an increase of 400 workers (0.8 percent) over the month. State Government added 100 workers (0.5 percent) and Federal Government decreased by 100 workers (0.9 percent) from February 2019 to March 2019.

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 8,500 workers (2.0 percent) from March 2018 to March 2019. South Dakota’s total nonfarm worker level has been on an upward trend since 2010. The top five contributors to this gain were Professional and Business Services; Manufacturing; Education and Health Services; Wholesale Trade; and Construction.

Over the year, Professional and Business Services added 2,200 workers (6.9 percent). Temporary staffing services, payroll processing services, consulting services, head offices and security guard services are examples of establishments in this supersector. Continued growth is a good sign that other industries are expanding to the point where additional support from professional and business services is needed.  

Manufacturing increased 2,200 workers (5.0 percent) to 45,900 workers in March 2019. Durable Goods and Non-Durable Goods both contributed to this growth. Durable Goods added 1,400 workers (5.0 percent) over the year. Non-Durable Goods had a 5.2 percent growth, adding 800 workers. Durable Goods include items such as trailers, furniture and electronic equipment and Non-Durable goods include food and beverage products, paper products and fuel. Manufacturing has been on an upward trend since the last over-the-year loss in January 2017.

Education and Health Services had a growth of 1,600 workers (2.2 percent). This supersector went from 72,700 workers in March 2018 to 74,300 workers in March 2019. Health Care and Social Assistance contributed to this over-the-year gain while Educational Services remained unchanged over the year. Increased specializations in health care and continued population growth continue to affect the demand for health care services.

Wholesale Trade continued on an upward trend with the addition of 1,400 workers (6.8 percent). The wholesaling process is an intermediate step in product distribution. Wholesalers sell merchandise to other establishments and normally operate from a warehouse or office.

Construction had a 3.5 percent growth with 700 workers added over the year. Specialty Trade Contractors accounted for this growth as Construction of Buildings and Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction remained unchanged over the year. Specialty Trade Contractors increased by 700 workers (5.7 percent) over the year. Specialty Trade Contractors perform a specific activity, such as site preparation, pouring concrete, plumbing, painting or doing electrical work.

Leisure and Hospitality had a loss of 600 workers (1.4 percent) from March 2018 to March 2019. Performing arts, museums, parks, hotels and restaurants are examples of establishments included in this supersector. Over-the-year losses may have been related to cold weather including a March blizzard that hit the state.

Other Services (except Public Administration) had a 3.0 percent growth with 500 workers added over the year. Beauty salons, car washes, small engine repair, funeral homes, wedding planning services, nannies and business associations are examples of some of the establishments in this sector. As the population continues to grow, so does the need for the services provided in this sector.

Government increased by 500 workers (0.6 percent) over the year. Local Government increased by 500 workers (1.0 percent). State Government gained 200 workers over the year with an increase of 1.1 percent. Federal Government had a loss of 200 workers (1.8 percent) over the year.