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 41,620 in May 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
May 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 remained unchanged at 2.3% in May 2022. The labor force increased over the month by 1,900 workers (0.4%) to 475,700 workers. The level of unemployed decreased by 300 (2.7%) to 10,700 persons unemployed.

South Dakota's May 2022 labor force of 475,700 increased compared to the May 2021 level of 467,700. The level of employed increased by 12,300 (2.7%); the level of unemployed decreased by 4,200 persons (28.2%). The unemployment rate decreased 0.9% to 2.3%.

South Dakota Unemployment Rates by County

May 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 9,000 (2.0%) from April 2022 to May 2022. Over the last 10 years, worker levels have had an average gain of 9,400 workers from April to May.

Leisure and Hospitality worker levels rose 8.4% with the addition of 3,800 workers. The Sioux Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) added 1,000 workers, and the Rapid City MSA added 1,500 workers over the month. Zoos, hotels, fitness centers, ice cream parlors, campgrounds and mobile food stands are examples of establishments in this supersector. Growth is common this time of year as many establishments increase worker levels to prepare for the rise of visitors in the summer.

Construction added 1,700 workers (6.6%), reaching 27,500 workers in May 2022. Specialty Trade Contractors paved the way to this growth, adding 1,000 workers (6.7%). 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 strong gains with the addition of 500 workers (11.4%). Construction of Buildings added 200 workers (3.1%) over the month. Historically, worker levels rise with the temperatures as establishments in the industry repair roads and work on new buildings.

Professional and Business Services worker levels increased 1,300 (3.8%), jumping to 35,800 workers in May 2022. 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 of establishments included in this supersector. Growth in Professional and Business Services indicate other businesses are growing at a rate where additional professional services are required.

Government added 1,000 workers (1.2%) from April to May 2022. Local Government accounted for this growth, adding 1,100 workers. Gains in Local Government is attributed to local governments hiring summer workers for ground maintenance, road work, lifeguarding, etc. Federal Government added 200 workers (1.8%). State Government declined 300 workers, dropping to 18,000 workers in May 2022.

Over-the-year comparisons

The total nonfarm wage and salaried worker level increased by 8,100 workers (1.8%) from May 2021 to May 2022. Over-the-year growth was scattered throughout many industries. The top three contributors to this gain were Leisure and Hospitality; Education and Health Services; and Construction.

Leisure and Hospitality added 2,800 workers (6.0%), climbing to 49,300 workers in May 2022. The majority of this growth took place outside the Sioux Falls and Rapid City MSA. The Sioux Falls MSA added 1,000 workers over the year, while the Rapid City MSA remained unchanged. The over-the-year increase in Leisure and Hospitality is related to establishments returning to pre-COVID staffing levels and in some cases, exceeding those levels.

Education and Health Services worker levels increased 1,800 (2.4%) over the year. Gains in Education and Health Services took place primarily in the Sioux Falls MSA (1,600 workers). At a statewide level, Health Care and Social Assistance gained 1,400 workers (2.1%). Hospitals increased 600 workers (2.2%), reaching 28,200 workers. Educational Services added 400 workers (5.6%). Over the year growth in Education and Health Services is related to population growth and an increase in medical specializations, both increasing the demand for workers.

Construction continued an upward climb, adding 1,300 worker (5.0%) over the year. Specialty Trade Contractors added 800 workers over the year, and Construction of Buildings added 400 workers. Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction also contributed to the growth on a smaller scale with the addition of 100 workers. Growth in construction is driven by increased demand for housing and new commercial projects that come with population growth.

Professional and Business Services added 900 workers (2.6%) over the year. The Sioux Falls MSA added 400 workers, while the Rapid City MSA had an increase of 100 workers over the year. Professional and Business Services includes a wide range of services frequently used by other businesses and occasionally households. Over-the-year growth is related to small gains in worker levels spread throughout many establishments.