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Leisure/Hospitality Leads South Dakota Job Growth

Leisure/hospitality led the way for job growth in South Dakota between June 2014 and June 2015, according to recently released federal data. That sector added 1,700 jobs year-over-year, followed closely by the Education/Health sector, which added 1,600 jobs.


When looking month-over-month, May 2015 marked South Dakota's best month for jobs growth since June 2014. From January 2015 to February 2015, the state added 3,500 jobs. That followed three straight months of downturns, including a 12-month record drop of 9,600 jobs between December 2014 and January 2015. The February 2015 over February 2014 growth represents a 1.2 percent annual increase in jobs for the state, which now employs 416,500 South Dakotans. 

South Dakota versus the U.S.

Overall, South Dakota’s job growth increased by just 1.0 percent from June 2015 to June 2016. That ranks the state 36th among the 50 states for year-over-year job growth. Utah ranked No. 1 3.6 percent growth, while North Dakota fell in last place nationally with a 4.1 percent decline in job growth.

Regionally, South Dakota placed ahead of Nebraska and Iowa, which had 0.8 and 0.6 percent job growth, respectively. Minnesota posted 1.4 percent growth, which was slightly ahead of Montana’s 1.3 percent growth.


After 19 months of stagnation, the education/health sector is seeing job growth. Education/Health, which employs 70,500 South Dakotans had a 2.8 percent increase from June 2014 to June 2015. The increase of 1,900 jobs makes it the third highest sector for raw job growth in the state.

The increase follows a full year of slow growth in 2014, when each month saw year-over-year growth in the 0 to 1 percent range. That trend began in June 2013 after a year of high growth in the 2 to 3 percent range.

Financial Industries

Recent data contradicts the previous year trends of job loss in the financial services sector. After consistently showing negative numbers since June of 2014,  Financial Services gained 900 jobs, marking a 3.0 percent increase industry wide.


After posting large gains in 2014, government sector job growth has tapered off. The sector came to a halt in January of 2015 with zero new jobs over the previous year. June 2015 saw only 400 more jobs over the previous year. The growth rate comes in at only 0.5 percent, rounding off at 79,000 jobs in the government sector.


The industry grew the most since June 2014, at a rate of 4.7%. This comes after five months of decline and two months of small growth. . In April, the industry was up 200 workers from 2014 to 2015. In May 2015, the number of jobs grew by 600, and in June the industry had 2,300 more workers than the previous year, a 4.7 percent increase for the 51,200-member workforce.


Substantial growth continued in the manufacturing sector in 2015, with 5.2 percent increase year-over-year in May and June. This increase comes after a twelve month growth trend that began in July 2014. This brings 2,200 more jobs in June 2015 than in 2014, for a total of 44,800 employees.


This sector saw regular growth year-over-year from June 2014 to June 2015.  With an increase of 900 jobs for June 2015, the Mining/Logging/Construction sector saw a 3.7 percent growth rate.

Professional/Business Services

The category of professional/business services was up 1.6 percent in South Dakota for June 2015 over the previous year, gaining 500 jobs. That brings total workers in this sector to 31,500 and reverses a declining trend that began in October of 2014.

Although it's increasing now, the recent slow-down in this sector follows a more volatile trend throughout 2012 and into 2014. Before that, the industry had posted strong growth consistently, going back to 2011.

Wholesale Trade

The growth in the wholesale trade sector has stalled, with June's numbers stagnant as 0 jobs were added, a 0 percent growth over June 2014. May posted a 1.0 percent growth rate with 200 more jobs over May 2014. The industry employs 21,200 people.