In 2016, South Dakota ranked 23rd among the 50 states for economic output per working age adult, at $77,644. This compared to No. 1 Delaware, at $100,269, No. 50 Mississippi, at $50,138, and the national average, at $78,304.
South Dakota's tourism tax is on the upswing, going from $745 million in 2015 to $831 million in 2016. (Inflation adjusted figures are used based on 2016 dollars.) South Dakota's tourism tax revenue has continued to increase year over year since 2011.
South Dakota's gross sales decreased slightly in 2016 to $67.5 billion, down from $69.1 billion, (inflation adjusted dollars) in 2015.
Jobs in South Dakota resumed modest annual growth in 2011 after the state shed jobs in 2009 and 2010. Jobs in the Rushmore State hit an all-time high in 2016 at 432,700. The figures exclude the self-employed as well as agriculture, domestic and military workers.
Manufacturing led the way for job growth in South Dakota between Febrary 2015 and February 2014, according to recently released ferderal 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, February 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 added 5,000 jobs from February 2014 to February 2015. That ranks the state 41st among the 50 states for year-over-year job growth and sets us just ahead of neighboring Nebraska, which saw 1.1 percent growth, and ahead of Montana, which tied with West Virginia for last place with 0.3 percent growth.
Utah, with 4.2 percent job growth, edged out neighboring North Dakota for the No. 1 slot. North Dakota logged 4 percent job growth and easily led the region, besting No. 27 Minnesota (1.7 percent growth), No. 30 Iowa (1.6 percent growth) and No. 35 Wyoming (1.4 percent growth).
After 19 months of stagnation, the education/health sector is seeing job growth. Education/Health, which employs 69,700 South Dakotans had a 2.3 percent increase from February 2014 to February 2015. The increase of 1,600 jobs makes it the second highest sector for raw job growth in the state.
The increase follows a full year of slow growth in the past years, 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.
Recent data reinforces the previous year trends of job loss in the financial services sector. This sector was one of only three industries to show decline from February 2014 to February 2015 and has consistently shown negative numbers since June of 2014. Financial Services lost 400 jobs, marking a 1.4 percent decrease 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. February 2015 saw only 200 more jobs over the previous year. The growth rate comes in at only 0.3 percent, rounding off at 78,400 jobs in the government sector.
The industry continued shedding jobs on a four-month trend that followed a year of job growth in the leisure/hospitality sector. In December, the industry was down 700 workers from 2013 to 2014. In January 2015, job losses were even higher at 1,200, and in February the industry had 700 fewer workers than the previous year, a 1.7 percent decline for the 40,900-member workforce.
Substantial growth continued in the manufacturing sector in 2015, with 3.9 percent increase year-over-year in January and 4.1 percent for February. This increase comes after an eight month growth trend that began in July 2014. This brings 1,700 more jobs in February 2015 than in 2014, for a total of 43,000 employees.
This sector had one of the largest percentage increases for any industry in February 2015. With an increase of 900 jobs year-over-year for February 2015, the Mining/Logging/Construction sector saw a 4.9 percent growth rate.
The category of professional/business services was down 1.4 percent in South Dakota for February 2015 over the previous year, losing 400 jobs. That brings total workers in this sector to 29,100 and follows a declining trend that began in October of 2014.
The 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.
The wholesale trade sector continued over a year of steady job growth, with February’s numbers strong as 1,000 jobs were added a 5 percent growth over February 2014. January posted a 4.5 percent growth rate with 900 more jobs over January 2014. The industry employs 21,200 people.
Per-capita consumer spending in South Dakota jumped 14.9 percent since the Great Recession ended in 2009 through 2012, the most recent year for which statistics are available. The Rushmore State has logged the third-fastest growth among the 50 states of this type of spending during that timeframe. (The figures have not been adjusted for inflation.)
South Dakota's spending increase closely trails second-place Oklahoma, with 15.6 percent growth. North Dakota, with its recent explosion of growth in the Baaken oil fields, is nearly double its southern neighbor, at 28 percent growth from 2009 to 2012.
Across the nation, per-capita consumer spending growth from 2009 to 2012 was 10.7 percent, with states in the southeast ranking in the bottom quintile for growth.
The figures come from a report released this week by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. It is the first data set for the category of consumer spending and is described as "prototype data." The BEA plans to release more refined data in 2015, according to its website.
South Dakota per-capita consumer spending:
2009 - $32,225
2010 - $33,810
2011 - $35,775
2012 - $37,036
North Dakota per-capita consumer spending:
2009 - $34,393
2010 - $36,695
2011 - $40,331
2012 - $44,029
Per capita expenditures on gasoline and other energy goods were highest in 2012 in North Dakota ($3,916), Wyoming ($3,475), South Dakota ($2,521), and Maine ($2,373). Per capita expenditures were lowest in Hawaii ($882), New York ($919), Florida ($1,020), and California ($1,039).
Consumer spending in South Dakota by category, 2012:
Over the 15-year period between 1997 and 2012, per capita consumer spending by South Dakotans increased by an average of 6.5 percent, while per capita personal incomes rose on average by 6.7 percent per year. While spending and income patterns may vary widely among individuals, the data suggests that on the whole South Dakotans are living within their means.
Taxable tourism sales in the Rushmore State’s metropolitan communities increased by 8.6 percent from 2015-2016 to more than $439 million. The Rapid City, Sioux Falls and Sioux City metro areas accounted for 52.9 percent of the state's tourism tax receipts in 2016, down from 55.1 percent in 2015 and 54.6 percent in 2016.
The Black Hills region—driven largely by the Pennington, Lawrence, Meade and Custer counties—delivered nearly half of the state's taxable tourism sales in 2016. Pennington County (home to Rapid City and Mount Rushmore) maintained its commanding lead, netting 27.4 percent of the state's taxable tourism sales in 2016.
No. 2 Minnehaha County (home to Sioux Falls) put up nearly half of Pennington’s share at 14.1 percent. No. 3 was Lawrence County (home to Deadwood) at 8.7 percent, followed by No. 4 Meade County (home to Sturgis) at 5.6 percent and No. 5 Custer County at 4.4 percent.
Lodging accounts for the vast majority of the state's taxable tourism sales. That sector made up 56 percent of taxable tourism sales in 2016. The No. 2 sector, shops and markets, accounted for 9 percent of taxable tourism sales in 2016, down from the six-year high of 14.8 percent recorded during a 2010 spike in taxable tourism sales. No. 3 visitor attractions accounted for 8.6 percent of taxable tourism sales in 2016, continuing a steady slide since 2009 when it was 12 percent.
Recreational services and rentals accounted for 5.4 percent in 2016, down from a five-year high of 11.1 percent in 2011. Restaurants totaled 3.7 percent in 2016, an eight-year high for that sector. Spectator events and "other visitor-related businesses" represented less than 1.0 percent, and 1.2 percent, respectively.
For the first time in four years, South Dakota’s rate of GDP growth was higher than the national average. In 2016, the state’s economy grew by 1.7% compared to 1.5% for the nation.
South Dakota’s economy shrank between 2011 and 2012, contracting by 0.9%, as depicted in the chart above. Between 2012 and 2015, GDP growth was positive, but the Rushmore State grew more slowly than the nation as a whole.
The weakness in the state’s economy in recent years follows a period of expansion around the time of Great Recession. In 2007, the economy in South Dakota grew by 3.9%, compared to 1.5% growth for the nation. In the heart of the Great Recession from 2008 and 2009, the US experienced a 2.7% decline in GDP, while South Dakota recorded 1.0% growth. In 2011, as the economy recovered and corn prices rose, South Dakota’s GDP grew by impressive 5.0%. (The state's recent high for GDP growth came in 2002 at 10.8%.)
Among the 50 states, South Dakota's 1.7% GDP growth in 2016 ranked 18th, compared to No. 1 Washington, at 3.7%. North Dakota placed last in the nation for GDP growth as its economy shrank by by 6.5%, continuing a recent trend of decline. North Dakota had previously been No. 1 in the nation with 6.0% growth in 2014, due to the Bakken oil boom. The growth in South Dakota’s gross domestic product was led by expansion in the agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting sector, which increased on an inflation-adjusted basis from $3.1 billion to $3.3 billion, and health care and social assistance, which rose from $3.8 billion to $3.9 billion.
When looking at per-capita GDP, the picture is beginning to look better. In 2014, per-capita GDP was $46,776 and increased to $47,706 in 2015. By 2016, per-capita GDP in the Rushmore State was $48,076, the highest since 2011.
When looking at GDP per working-age adult, South Dakota fares better and exceeded the national amount for four straight years, 2009-2012. In 2016, South Dakota's per working-age adult GDP was $77,644 compared to the national amount of $78,304. Before the recession, the gap was much wider, as much as $10,000 in 2001 and over $11,000 in 2000. That gap diminished in the years leading up to 2008 and only tipped slightly away from South Dakota's favor in 2013.