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 41,255 in April 2023. 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
April 2023

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 remained unchanged at 1.9% in April 2023. The labor force increased over the month by 1,600 workers (0.3%) to 478,800 workers. The level of unemployed decreased by 200 (2.2%) to 9,000 persons unemployed.

South Dakota's April 2023 labor force of 478,800 increased compared to the April 2022 level of 475,500. The level of employed increased by 3,500 (0.8%); the level of unemployed decreased by 100 persons (1.1%). The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 1.9%.

South Dakota Unemployment Rates by County

April 2023

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 5,700 (1.3%) from March 2023 to April 2023.

Construction had the largest over-the-month growth, adding 2,100 workers (9.3%) in April 2023. Specialty Trade Contractors increased 1,000 workers (7.3%). Specialty Trade Contractors perform a specific activity, such as site preparation, pouring concrete, plumbing, painting or doing electrical work. Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction also had over-the-month gains, adding 700 workers (22.6%). Construction of buildings increased 400 works (7.0%), reaching 6,100 workers in April 2023. Gains in Construction are typical this time of year as many establishments begin repairing roads, doing concrete work and working on new buildings when the temperature rises.

Professional and Business Services worker levels rose 3.9% over the month with the addition of 1,400 workers. Over half of this growth (900 workers) took place in the Sioux Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). Professional and Business Services has a wide range of services frequently used by other businesses and occasionally households. Computer hardware consulting services, payroll processing services, landscaping services, tax preparation services, corporate offices primarily engaged in overseeing a company and security guard services are examples of establishments in this sector. Growth in Professional and Business Services indicate other businesses are growing at a rate where additional professional services are required.

Wholesale Trade increased 600 workers (2.7%) over the month. This growth has taken place primarily outside the Sioux Falls and Rapid City MSAs. The Wholesale Trade sector consists of establishments engaged in wholesaling merchandise and rendering services incidental to merchandise. This growth is a result of small worker level gains spread throughout many of the establishments in this sector.

Leisure and Hospitality added 500 workers (1.1%), jumping to 46,700 workers in April 2023. The Sioux Falls MSA added 400 workers, while the Rapid City MSA added 300. Museums, arcades, zoos, casinos, fitness centers, hotels and restaurants are examples of establishments included in this supersector. Growth this time of year is expected as establishments build up their staffing levels to prepare for an increase in visitors.

Over-the-year comparisons

The total nonfarm wage and salaried worker level increased by 9,100 workers (2.0%) from April 2022 to April 2023. Over-the-year growth was scattered throughout many industries. The top contributors to this growth were Retail Trade; Private Education and Health Services; Wholesale Trade; Manufacturing and Government.

Retail Trade continued trending upward, adding 2,300 workers (4.4%) over the year. The Sioux Falls MSA added 1,000 workers. Over-the-year growth was spread throughout many of the establishments in Retail Trade. Clothing boutiques, home furnishing stores, department stores, hardware stores, supermarkets, gasoline stations, antique shops and souvenir stores are examples of establishments in this sector.

Private Education and Health Services gained 1,700 workers (2.3%). A majority of this growth took place in the Sioux Falls MSA (2,000 workers). Statewide, Private Educational Services increased 900 workers (11.8%). Health Care and Social Assistance added 800 workers (1.2%), reaching 68,500 workers in April 2023. Hospitals increased 800 workers (2.9%). Gains in Private Education and Health Services are due to population growth and an increase in medical specializations, both increasing the need for additional staff.

Wholesale Trade gained 1,500 workers (6.9%), jumping to 23,200 workers in April 2023. Over half of this growth took place outside of the Sioux Falls and Rapid City MSAs. The Sioux Falls MSA added 500 workers over the year, while the Rapid City MSA added 100. The wholesaling process is an intermediate step in product distribution. Wholesalers sell merchandise received from manufacturers to other establishments and normally operate from a warehouse or office. The growth of Wholesale Trade correlates with the growth of Manufacturing. The more product there is to sell, the greater need there is for wholesalers.

Manufacturing worker levels rose 1,200 (2.7%) over the year. Durable Goods paved the way to this growth, adding 1,300 workers (4.6%) over the year. Durable Goods are not immediately consumed and can be kept for a longer time. Increased demand drives the growth in Durable Goods. Non-Durable Goods decreased 100 workers (0.6%). Non-Durable Goods are immediately consumed in one use or have a lifespan of less than three years.

Government increased 1,300 workers (1.6%). Local Government added 800 workers (1.6%) with Local Government Educational Services adding 400 workers (1.4%). Federal Government gained 400 workers (3.6%), climbing to 11,500 workers in April 2023. State Government added 100 workers (0.5%). State Government Educational Services gained 200 workers (2.1%) over the year. Gains in Government can be attributed to population increases, as city programs and services expand to meet the needs of the communities.