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.