After two years of impressive gains, South Dakota's taxable tourism sales leveled off in 2015 and posted modest growth, according to data from the state of South Dakota.
Statewide, tourism sales grew 4.5 percent from 2012 to 2013 and another 6.8 percent from 2013 to 2014, going from $655 million in 2012 to $732 million in 2014. Then sales grew 0.5 percent from 2014 to 2015, which brought $735.5 million in tourism sales. All figures have been inflation-adjusted to 2015 dollars.
In 2015, the tourism tax collected was $5.5 million from the Black Hills region and $11 million from all of South Dakota.
For the past three years, growth in the Black Hills region has followed the same trend but exceeded statewide growth. The region accounts for nearly half of the state's tourism sales. (Data for Oglala Lakota County is available only for 2015, so the following list includes data from the Black Hills counties of Butte, Custer, Fall River, Lawrence, Meade and Pennington.)
The Black Hills growth rate fell behind the state recently when the region suffered declines for two straight years (2010-2012), dropping a total of 14 percent to $312 million in 2012. At the same time, statewide, tourism sales slid from 2010-2011 by 2.6 percent, to $655 million, then held steady into 2012 before taking off on two years of healthy gains.
While the Black Hills has enjoyed more growth and suffered bigger declines than the state as a whole, the region dominates taxable tourism sales in South Dakota, accounting for between 47 percent and 54 percent of the total over the past seven years.
And within the Black Hills, Pennington County -- home to Mount Rushmore and Rapid City -- leads both the state and region with nearly twice the tourism sales of No. 2 Minnehaha County (home to Sioux Falls) and more than three times No. 3 Lawrence County, home to the Wild West and gambling town of Deadwood.
From the Black Hills region, only Butte County did not rank among the state's top 15, instead coming in 27th among 66 counties. Statewide, each of the top 15 counties is either in the Black Hills, along the Missouri River or along Interstate 90 or Interstate 29, with the exception of Brown County, home to the state's third-largest city of Aberdeen.
Here are South Dakota's top 15 counties for taxable tourism sales in 2015:
When broken down by business type, lodging and campgrounds account for more of South Dakota's tourism sales than any other business type combined. In 2015, the $408 million from lodging and campground accounted for 55.5 percent of all of South Dakota's tourism sales.
Here's how tourism sales broke down by business type in 2015:
South Dakota's low taxes and the happiness of state residents earned a No. 2 ranking as a retirement hotspot from Bankrate.com.
South Dakota has one of the nation's lowest tax burdens at 7.1 percent, or an average of $3,318 per resident. That level of taxation ties South Dakota with the No. 1 retirement state, neighboring Wyoming. Only Alaska, with a tax rate of 6.5 percent, is lower.
Bankrate used data from Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and other sources to rank all 50 states based on factors important to seniors: cost of living, quality of health care, taxes, crime and overall well-being.
Four of South Dakota's neighboring states also were ranked in the top 10. Besides No. 1 Wyoming, Montana ranked No. 6, Iowa ranked No. 8 and Nebraska ranked No. 10.
South Dakota’s economy grew faster than any other state in the union in the third quarter of 2015, according to new figures released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. With an enormous contribution from agriculture, the state’s economy expanded by 9.2 percent in the quarter.
Agriculture accounted for nearly two-thirds of South Dakota’s economic growth and led other grain belt states to the top of the state rankings. Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska all finished in the top five states as well.
South Dakota also saw healthy increases in construction, retail trade, durable-goods manufacturing, finance and insurance, health care and professional services. The only sector to suffer a significant decline was wholesale trade, which was down 0.42 percent.
South Dakota’s third quarter growth reflects a positive turn in the somewhat volatile pattern of the economy in late 2014 and 2015. After declining by 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014 and by 14.8 percent in the first quarter of 2015, the state’s economy bounced back in the second quarter of 2015, growing by 5.8 percent, before surging in the third quarter.
White South Dakotans have substantially higher rates of employment than do their counterparts of color, with the gap being nearly double between Native American adults and whites, according to federal data.
Between 2010 and 2014, an average of 79.8 percent of whites ages 16 to 64 had jobs, compared to 44.9 percent for Native Americans and 67.6 percent for other people of color. Overall during those years, an average of 76.1 percent of South Dakota adults were in the workforce.
The federal government considers people to be “working” if they:
Members of the military on active are not considered to be working, and those who volunteer only are not counted.
Among South Dakota's nine American Indian reservations, the Lake Raverse reservation in northeast South Dakota recorded the most working adults while the Pine Ridge reservation in southern South Dakota recorded the least.
On a county-by-county basis, rural areas where agriculture is a leading industry dominated the 10 counties with the most adults working, while counties home to American Indian reservations dominated the bottom 10.
Among the 11 metropolitan and micropolitan areas inside South Dakota's borders, the Watertown micropolitan area leads the pack while the Vermillion micropolitan area ranks the lowest.
Read more about South Dakota's workforce on the South Dakota Dashboard.
Median household income grew 3.55 percent in the Sioux Falls metropolitan area from 2013 to 2014, outpacing statewide growth of 2.5 percent and further outpacing the Rapid City metropolitan area growth of 0.8 percent, according to federal data.
In the past decade, the four-county Sioux Falls metro area has experienced much bigger swings, both up and down, in median household income than the rest of South Dakota. (All calculations have been done using figures inflation-adjusted to 2014 dollars.) Even with a drop exceeding 10 percent in one year, the Sioux Falls metro area continues to post household incomes thousands of dollars above the rest of the state.
The one exception was 2012, when the median income in the Rapid City metro area was at $51,941 and the median income in the Sioux Falls metro area dipped to $53,345.
One of the Sioux Falls metro area's four counties -- Lincoln County -- maintained its No. 1 rank for median household income in 2013, at $78,567, nearly $12,000 ahead of No. 2 Union County, at $66,831. Furthermore, when much of the rest of the state suffered economic setbacks as the Great Recession took hit 2008, Lincoln County's median household income grew 7 percent, going from $71,992 in 2007 to $77,066 in 2008 (in inflation-adjusted dollars). The county's household income has hovered just below $80,000 ever since, coming in at $78,567 in 2014.
For the other three counties in the Sioux Falls metro area -- McCook, Minnehaha and Turner -- median household incomes have hovered closer to $50,000 (in inflation-adjusted dollars) since the recession.
Here's a look at changes in median household incomes since 2006:
SIOUX FALLS METRO AREA
MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME
(inflation-adjusted to 2014)
RAPID CITY METRO AREA
MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME
(inflation-adjusted to 2014)
STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA
MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME
(inflation-adjusted to 2014)
From 2013-2014, median income for South Dakotans 65 and older dropped more than $1,600, which does not appear to be a trend in other states. The drop puts the state in last place among its neighbors and 43rd nationally for median income for older residents, according to federal data.
However, an even more significant drop in median income for this subset of the population in the Rapid City metropolitan area appears to be a factor in the statewide decline. Statewide, median income for that age group went from $36,931 in 2013 to $35,240 (in inflation-adjusted dollars). At the same time, income dropped more than $7,500 in the Rapid City metro area -- from $43,877 to $36,319 -- while it dropped only about $500 in the Sioux Falls metro area to $39,423.
For South Dakota's metro areas, median incomes for those 65 and older are either below 1999 levels or nearly even, in inflation adjusted dollars. Statewide, income for this group is up since 1999.
|Rapid City metro area||$41,400||$36,319|
|Sioux Falls metro area||$39,238||$39,423|
|Sioux City metro area||$36,205||$32,647|
Here's how South Dakota's income for senior citizen stack up regionally and nationally. The list is in the order of the largest drop in income to the largest gain, between 2013 and 2014.
Strong growth in the finance and insurance industries led South Dakota to the No. 2 spot nationally for growth in gross domestic product during the second quarter of 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. The state's GDP growth was 5.8 percent during that quarter. Washington state ranked first nationally with GDP growth of 8 percent, Oklahoma ranked 50th with -2.4 percent.
The finance and insurance sector grew 12.4 percent nationally and was the growth leader in 28 states. In South Dakota, the industry grew 2.42 percent during Q2 2015, putting the Rushmore State behind No. 1 Delware, with 2.42 percent growth, and ahead of No. 3 New York, with 2.16 percent growth.
In South Dakota, growth in all other sectors was less than 1 percent, with three industries reporting negative growth -- mining, educational services and agriculture/forestry/fishing/hunting. (See tables attached to this post.) After finance and insurance, the real estate industry grew the most in South Dakota, at 0.74 percent.
Drops in energy prices continued slumps in neighboring states of North Dakota and Wyoming, which ranked 47th and 49th nationally after recording negative GDP growth rates of 1.2 percent and 2.3 percent respectivally. Other neighboring states fared better, with Minnesota 14th, 4.5 percent growth; Iowa 16th, 4.5 percent growth; Nebraska, 19th, 4.3 percent growth and Montana 38th, 3.2 percent growth.
While South Dakota's population center's ranked high in some sub-categories, it was neighboring counties that led the state in a national ranking for overall investment in communities. The financial firm Smart Asset researched four factors for each county in the nation and created state and national rankings.
Here are South Dakota's top 10 locales for investment, based on the equally weighted categories of GDP growth, business growth, new building permits and municipal bonds per capita.
While Hanson County recorded no new businesses in the last two years, it led the state for the amount of municipal bonds taken out per capita in the last five years -- $107,876. McCook was second in this category at $76,939. By comparison, several counties had no municipal bonds, while the high-population counties of Minnehaha and Pennington had $1,792 and $1,592 repsectively.
And while Hanson County ranked 24th among the state's 66 counties for building permits, at six per 1,000 homes, Custer County led this category with 24.9 permits for every 1,000 homes. Union County ranked No. 2, with 17 permits per 1,000 homes, and Minnehaha County ranked third, with 15.9 permits per 1,000 homes.
Some of the state's smallest counties fill nearly every slot in the top 10 for the category of business growth, with Mellette County ranking No. 1 after logging 17.4 percent growth. Harding County, just across the border from North Dakota's Bakken oil region, came in No. 2 with 14.7 percent business growth. And Oglala Lakota County (formerly Shannon County) on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation took the No. 3 spot with 12.9 percent business growth. Of note, Minnehaha County logged a 1.1 percent decline in business growth.
In the category of GDP growth, South Dakota's population centers rank in order - Minnehaha County, home to the state's largest city of Sioux Falls, ranks No. 1. Pennington County, home to No. 2 Rapid City, is second. Brown County, home to No. 3 Aberdeen, is third. Then it's No. 4 Lincoln County, also home to part of Sioux Falls and bedroom communities, and No. 5 Coddington County, home to Watertown.
They are followed by Lawrence County, home to fast-growing Spearfish and Black Hills State University plus Deadwood and Lead, then Brookings County, home to Brookings and South Dakota State University, and Davison County, home to Mitchell, Dakota Wesleyan University and Mitchell Technical Institue.
Rounding out the top 10 for GDP are Yankton County, home to Yankton and Yankton College, and Meade County, home to Sturgis and the fast-growing Interstate 90 corridor that includes Summerst, Piedmont and Black Hawk.
Nationally, five of the top ten counties for incoming investment are in North Dakota's Bakken oil region, two are in eastern Texas, two are in Georgia and one in California, No. 8 Los Angeles County.
Of note, seven of the top ten counties for municipal bonds are in states that neighbor South Dakota -- four in Minnesota, two in North Dakota and one in Nebraska. Four of the top ten for business growth are in North Dakota's Bakken oil region.
Workers in South Dakota had the nation's lowest rate of "active disengagement" at 12 percent in 2013-2014, according to a survey conducted by Gallup.
The national average for 2013-2014 was 18 percent active disengagement, while -- at 21 percent -- Connecticut, New York, Michigan and Kentucky tied for the highest percentage of actively disengaged workers.
The Rushmore state ranked in the second quintile for employee engagement, although an exact percentage wasn't available in a summary report on the Gallup website. (The full report can be downloaded when requested on the website.) Neighboring Montana ranked highest for worker engagement, at 39 percent. The national average was 31 percent.
Gallup defines worker disengagement as: "Employees are not just unhappy at work; these employees undermine the accomplishments of their engaged coworkers. They monopolize managers' time, account for more quality defects and quit at a higher rate than engaged employees."
Employee engagement is defined as: "Employees are involved in and enthusiastic about their work and workplace. Day after day, they are passionate about their jobs and feel a profound connection to their company. They are more productive, drive innovation and promote organizational growth."
Companies with engaged workers are more profitable, have higher employee retention rates, lower accident rates and more benefits.
Active worker disengagement tends to be linked to states with higher rates of unemployment/underemployment and higher rates of lay-offs. Higher rates of worker engagement tend to be linked to smaller companies, where employees take more ownership of the workplace, and low rates of unemployment, suggesting a competitive labor market.
The survey also found that individual managers have a direct bearing on levels of worker engagement, with some managers achieving total worker engagement and others creating high rates of disengagement.
Read more about South Dakota's economy on the South Dakota Dashboard.
The state of South Dakota has collected 5 percent more in sales tax since July 1 in 2015 than the previous year, reports the Rapid City Journal.
That makes for a marked increase over the 2.2 percent boost in sales tax for the entire fiscal year of 2015, which ended June 30. A member of the governor's staff gave updated information to the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisers as work is underway on the state's budget for Fiscal Year 2017, which begins July 1, 2016, and which the state Legislature will approve by March 2016.
The council also was told that South Dakota's gross domestic product fell 0.9 percent in 2012, then grew by 0.9 percent in 2013 and 0.6 percent in 2014.
The FY2017 budget will include a 0.3 percent inflationary increase in funding for K-12 schools and a 2.1 percent increase to healthcare providers. Also, the budget presented to state lawmakers by Gov. Dennis Daugaard on Dec. 8 will include $5.3 million to help offset tuition consts for South Dakota residents at public universities and technical institutes.