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 54,215 in December 2018. 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
December 2018

map of South Dakota Labor Supply

 

Labor Force

This data is seasonally adjusted.

Preliminary estimates show the December 2018 South Dakota labor force increased over the month by 800 workers (0.2 percent) to 460,000 workers. The level of unemployed decreased by 100 workers (0.7 percent) at 13,500 workers.

South Dakota Unemployment Rates by County
Not seasonally adjusted
December 2018

map of South Dakota unemployment rates 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 decreased by 900 (0.2 percent) from November 2018 to December 2018.

Education and Health Services added 700 workers (1.0 percent) over the month with 73,400 workers in December 2018. Health Care and Social Assistance accounted for the majority of this increase with the addition of 500 workers (0.8 percent). Educational Services also contributed to this gain adding 200 workers (2.6 percent) over the month.

For the third consecutive month, Professional and Business Services has been on an upward trend. Professional and Business Services had a growth of 500 workers (1.5 percent) from November 2018 to December 2018.

Leisure and Hospitality had an over-the-month loss of 700 workers (1.5 percent). Worker levels in this sector commonly fluctuate due to the seasonality of this sector. Worker level trends for this sector have been consistent, as levels typically peak in August and dip to lower levels in January and February.

Construction decreased by 600 workers (2.5 percent) over the month to 23,700 workers in December 2018. Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction contributed to this drop as Specialty Trade Contractors and the Construction of Buildings subsectors remained unchanged over the month. Historically, Construction numbers tend to drop as the weather gets cold and rise when the weather gets warm.

Other Services fell 2.9 percent over the month with the loss of 500 workers. 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.

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 9,300 workers (2.1 percent) from December 2017 to December 2018. Since 2010, South Dakota’s total nonfarm worker level has been on an upward trend. Top contributors to this gain were Professional and Business Services; Construction; Wholesale Trade; Manufacturing; Leisure and Hospitality; and Government.

Professional and Business Services continued an upward trend with a gain of 3,300 workers (10.4 percent) over the year. This supersector went from 31,600 workers in December 2017 to 34,900 in December 2018. This supersector consists of Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services; Management of Companies and Enterprises; and Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services.

Construction had a growth of 10.8 percent over the year adding 2,300 workers to 23,700 workers in December 2018. Specialty Trade Contractors added 1,500 workers (11.6 percent) from December 2017 to December 2018. Specialty Trade Contractor make up over half of the workers in Construction with 14,400 workers in December 2018. Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction gained 400 workers (12.9 percent). Construction of Buildings also had a growth of 400 workers with an increase of 7.4 percent from December 2017 to December 2018.

For the fifth time in a row, Wholesale Trade estimated an over-the-year gain. This sector had a 7.4 percent increase over the year with the addition of 1,500 workers. The wholesaling process is an intermediate step in product distribution. Wholesalers sell merchandise to other establishments and normally operate from a warehouse or office.

Manufacturing continued trending upward with the addition of 1,400 workers (3.2 percent). The Manufacturing sector can be broken down into Durable Goods and Non-Durable Goods. Durable Goods had an over-the-year growth of 800 workers (2.8 percent) and Non-Durable Goods increased by 600 workers (3.8 percent). Durable Goods, such as cars, refrigerators and mobile phones, are not immediately consumed and can be kept for a longer time. Non-Durable Goods, such as cosmetics, cleaning supplies, and food and fuel, are immediately consumed in one use or have a lifespan of less than three years.

Over the year, Leisure and Hospitality rose by 600 workers (1.4 percent) to 44,800 workers in December 2018. Leisure and Hospitality consists of the Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation subsector and the Accommodation and Food Services subsector.

Government had a growth of 600 workers (0.7 percent) from December 2017 to December 2018. Local Government and Federal Government both contributed to this increase adding 600 workers (1.2 percent) and 100 workers (0.9 percent), respectively. State Government dropped 100 workers (0.5 percent) over the year.

Retail Trade had an over the year loss with a drop of 600 workers (1.1 percent). This sector went from 52,800 workers in December 2017 to 52,200 in December 2018. Technology has greatly impacted this sector. The decline in workers may be due to the increase in online shopping and the convenience of shopping on phone apps.