%@ Page Language="C#" %> Labor Market Information Center - Pandemic Picture

Marcia Hultman

Cabinet Secretary

Font Size: A A A

Labor Market Information Center

Pandemic Picture: Impacts on the Labor Market

The following is a summary of workforce data indicators beginning in January 2020 through the most current labor market data available at any point in time, to provide a picture of how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted South Dakota's labor economy.


Labor Force

Updated monthly; last updated Sept. 24, 2021.

Line graph of South Dakota monthly labor force, employment and unemployment levels in 2020, to illustrate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The seasonally adjusted labor force increased by 17,700 between August 2020 and August 2021.
  • August 2021 the number of employed was 457,700, which is 25,500 greater than in August 2020.

Read more analysis of labor force data since the pandemic began in South Dakota. Monthly labor force data can be found in the virtual labor market data system using the link and instructions available from our Labor Force menu page.


Nonfarm Wage & Salaried Workers by Industry

Updated monthly; last updated Sept. 24, 2021.

Line graph of monthly statewide nonfarm wage and salaried worker levels in 2020, to show impact of COVID-19 pandemic
  • The number of nonfarm wage and salaried workers in South Dakota decreased by 500 from July 2021 to August 2021. This decline was the result of losses in a number of industries, including Educational Services; Other Services (except Public Administration); Leisure and Hospitality; Financial Activities; Retail Trade; Information; and Mining and Logging.
  • Over the longer term since the pandemic first hit South Dakota, the greatest impact in nonfarm worker levels occurred from March to April 2020, with an unprecedented drop of 42,100 workers (9.6%).
  • The August 2021 estimates show South Dakota establishments have recouped about 99.4% of the worker levels they had in March 2020.

Read more analysis of nonfarm worker data since the pandemic began in South Dakota. Monthly nonfarm worker data can be found in the virtual labor market data system using the link and instructions available from our Nonfarm Workers menu page.


Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages

Updated quarterly; last updated Sept. 24, 2021.

Line graph of South Dakota Monthly Employment from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages

  • While employment levels started out strong in early 2020 before the pandemic hit South Dakota, employers reported nearly 34,000 fewer workers in April than for March. Employment levels have since recovered, at 442,089 in June 2021 (most recent data available). In fact, employment in June 2021 exceeded (105.0%) March 2020 employment levels, when the pandemic began impacting employment levels.
  • In 2021, the month of June had the highest monthly employment level since the pandemic struck, nearly reaching a historical high. In 2019 and 2020, June employment was 442,128 and 415,888, respectively, compared to the June 2021 employment level of 442,089.
  • COVID-19’s impact on the total number of establishments reporting employment and wages was not nearly as severe overall as on employment levels. In fact, the reported number of establishments reached a historical high of 36,241 in the second quarter of 2021.

South Dakota
Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages
Month
Employment
January 2020 420,694
February 2020 421,268
March 2020 420,863
April 2020 387,234
May 2020 402,494
June 2020 415,888
July 2020 418,700
August 2020 422,802
September 2020 422,468
October 2020 426,022
November 2020 422,981
December 2020 423,927
January 2021 412,218
February 2021 413,000
March 2021 417,062
April 2021* 425,343
May 2021* 434,452
June 2021* 442,089
Actual Change
from March 2020 to Most Current Data
21,226
Percent Change
from March 2020 to Most Current Data
5.0%
*Preliminary data; subject to revision.
Source: Labor Market Information Center, SD Department of Labor and Regulation in cooperation with U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


South Dakota Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages
Month Number of Establishments Average
Employment
Average
Weekly
Wages
First Quarter 2020
(January through March)
34,642 420,942 $901
Second Quarter 2020 (April through June) 34,659 401,872 $912
Third Quarter 2020
(July through September)
35,166 421,323 $918
Fourth Quarter 2020
(October through December)
35,501 424,310 $1,048
First Quarter 2021
(January through March)
35,640 414,093 $932
Second Quarter 2021*
(Apri through June)
36,241 433,961 $936
Actual Change
from First Quarter 2020 to Second Quarter 2021
1,599 13,019 $35
Percent Change
from First Quarter 2020 to Second Quarter 2021
4.6% 3.1% 3.9%
*Preliminary data; subject to revision.
Source: Labor Market Information Center, SD Department of Labor and Regulation in cooperation with U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Learn more about the QCEW program and the availability of data since the pandemic began.