In 2016, 406,817 South Dakotans aged 16-64 were working, accounting for 76.2% of the working-age population (534,082). This figure includes the self-employed and farm workers, even if unpaid.
South Dakota ranked No. 6 nationally for its proportion of working-age residents doing work in 2016. North Dakota ranked No. 1 at 79.3%, while West Virginia ranked 50th, at 60.1%.
In 2016, 28.9% of South Dakotans over age 25 held bachelor's degrees or higher, lagging the national average of 31.3%. South Dakota ranked 30th among the 50 states on this metric.
Clay County ranked first among South Dakota's 66 counties for those over 25 holding bachelor's degrees or higher, with an average of 45.0% between 2011 and 2015. Buffalo County ranked 66th, at 9.5%.
More than 10,000 South Dakotans commuted to work in a neighboring state in 2013, and more than a third of those went to jobs in Iowa, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
The South Dakota Dashboard has used the large federal data set to create the interactive map below.
Hover over a given state to see how many South Dakotans commute to nearly every other state except for West Virginia, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine. Most out-of-state commuters went to neighboring states, although Montana lags far behind other surrounding states. The numbers listed below.
|North Dakota||1,582||15.3 %|
South Dakota Adds 4,500 Jobs from 2015-2016
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that South Dakota added nearly 4,500 non-farm jobs from 2015 to 2016. The Education and Health sector led the way adding over 1,900 jobs year-over-year. The retail trade sector was also strong and creating 800 new jobs over the year. The natural resources/mining and construction sectors experienced the greatest percentage growth across the state at 3.4% and 2.7%, respectively.
Lincoln County boasted the strongest job growth in the state from in 2016, as 1,071 new jobs were created and employment increased by 5.4%. Not all counties enjoyed such robust growth, however. Mellette County experienced the largest percentage decline in jobs at 7.6% or 27 jobs. The top three leading and declining counties in terms of job growth can be seen below:
|County||Rank||Annual Percent Change||Total Jobs Lost or Gained|
Metro versus Non-Metro Areas
South Dakota’s metropolitan areas posted the greatest job growth in 2016, at 1.6%. The state’s micropolitan areas also posted job growth at 0.7%, while job growth in rural areas declined slightly at -0.4%.
The Brookings micropolitan area showed the greatest job growth out of the state’s micropolitan and metropolitan areas at 2.6%. Spearfish placed second at 2.0% followed by Sioux Falls at 1.8%. Mitchell and Watertown both experienced declines in job growth of -0.5% and -0.6% respectively.
South Dakota versus the U.S.Overall, South Dakota’s jobs growth increased by 1.0% from 2015-2016. That places the state 36th among the 50 states for year-over-year job growth. Utah ranked No. 1 with 3.6% growth, while North Dakota fell in last place nationally with a 4.1% decline in job growth.Regionally, South Dakota placed ahead of Nebraska and Iowa, which had 0.8 and 0.6% job growth, respectively. Minnesota posted 1.4% growth, which was slightly ahead of Montana’s 1.3% growth.
Education/HealthFollowing a period of stagnation in 2013 and 2014, the education and health sector is seeing job growth. This sector, which accounts for over 103,000 jobs across the state, had a 1.9% increase from June 2015 to June 2016. The increase of 1,900 jobs makes it the third highest sector for raw job growth in the state.Financial IndustriesThe financial industries sector continued its recent trend of decline. The industry declined by 1.1% in 2016, losing over 330 jobs.This decline has increased from 2013-2014 and 2014-2015, when the industry declined by 0.2 and 0.3%, respectively.
After stalling in 2014-2015, the government sector rebounded in 2015-2016 with an addition of 338 jobs, or 1.3% growth over the previous year. The government sector has fluctuated significantly in recent years. In 2011 and 2012, the industry declined by 1.9 and 1.6%, respectively. However, the government sector experienced growth in both 2009 and 2010, at 3.6 and 1.6%, respectively.
Leisure/HospitalityIn 2016 Leisure/Hospitality grew by 1.1%, marking a smaller increase in jobs from the 1.5% growth in 2015, and 1.8% growth in 2014. The leisure/hospitality sector has seen relatively stable growth over the years, with the exception of a 0.9% decline following the Great Recession in 2008, during which the industry lost nearly 400 jobs. ManufacturingIn 2016, manufacturing declined by 1.0%, with a loss of over 400 jobs. This marks the industry’s first decline since 2010, when the industry decline by 2.0%. The largest decline in manufacturing jobs in the Rushmore State occurred in 2009, when the industry lost nearly 5,000 jobs, an 11.7% contraction. The industry has since recovered, with the largest job gains occurring in 2011 and 2012, with the creation of over 4,000 jobs.
The natural resources/mining sector produced the greatest percentage job growth in South Dakota in 2016, at 3.4%. The industry has seen significant gains since 2003, with the most significant job growth occurring in 2008 at 7.2%. Natural Resources/Mining was one of three in South Dakota that did not post job losses in 2009 following the Great Recession. Education and government also experienced job growth following the recession.
Jobs in the construction industry have seen continued growth since 2013, following two years of stagnation from 2011 to 2012. In 2016, the industry grew by 2.7%, slightly less than in 2014 and 2015 at 4.0 and 4.4%, respectively. Professional/Business ServicesThe category of professional/business services was up 1.9% in 2016, marking an increase of 606 jobs for the year. The industry has continued a trend of steady growth since 2010, following a significant 4.6% in the aftermath of the Great Recession.
A 44 percent growth in farm income between the second and third quarters of 2015 put South Dakota on top nationally for personal income growth, according to a U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis news release.
"Farm earnings grew 17.5 percent (nationwide) in the third quarter after falling 4.5 percent in the second. The increase in farm earnings exceeded 25 percent in six of the seven states in the Plains Region (Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota) and contributed the most to their personal income growth. Third-quarter farm earnings primarily reflected lower production expenses, including lower fuel and livestock costs."
Overall, the Rushmore state's income grew 2.2 percent quarter-over-quarter, making it No. 1 for growth in that timeframe. That provides a rebound after South Dakota's personal income shrunk 2.7 percent between the fourth quarter of 2014 and the first quarter of 2015, then grew 1.4 percent into the second quarter of 2015.
Now at No. 1, South Dakota was followed closely by neighbors Nebraska, at No. 2, and Iowa, at No. 3. Other neighbors ranked No. 11 - Minnesota; No. 16 -- Montana; No. 44 -- Wyoming, and No. 48 -- North Dakota.
Both Wyoming and North Dakota have been hit by continued contraction in the oil industry, and income from their mining industries have shrunk. In South Dakota, mining income fell 0.6 percent between Q2 and Q3 2016. Nationally, earnings fell 1.9 percent in mining in the third quarter, after falling 5.5 percent in the second quarter and 0.6 percent in the first quarter of 2015.
Despite the slow-down in the energy sector, personal income grew in every state between Q2 and Q3 2015, with an average growth of 1.3 percent among the 50 states. Alaska experienced the least amount of growth, at 0.6 percent.
Nationally, nonfarm earnings grew 1.3 percent in both the second and third quarters. of 2015 The largest percentage increases in the third quarter were in Arizona and Oregon where nonfarm earnings grew 1.6 percent. A non-farm breakout for South Dakota was not provided.
Read more about Incomes on the South Dakota Dashboard.
Transportation-related injuries resulted in the highest number of work-related deaths in South Dakota in 2014, reports the Sioux Falls Argus Leader.
That year, 12 of the state's 28 work-related deaths resulted from transportation incidents, according to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Falls, slips and trips led to eight deaths, while contact with equipment or objects led to five.
With nine deaths, the agiculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting industry had the highest number. Construction came in second with six deaths.
Read more about Workforce on South Dakota Dashboard.
More South Dakotans were working in 2014 than in any year since at least 2000, according to recently updated federal data. That holds true whether the state's workforce is measured by the number of individuals or by the percentage of the total population.
In 2014, 77.6 percent of South Dakota adults held jobs, up from a recent low of 75.1 percent in 2011. That workforce was made up of 413,853 people, up from 355,562 in 2000.
That placed the Rushmore State at No. 2 for the most adults working behind No. 1 Nebraska at 77.8 percent. West Virginia ranked last at 59.7 percent. Nationally, the rate was 68 percent, down from a recent high of 70.7 percent in 2008.
Both teens and those 65 and older worked at higher rates than they did before the Great Recession struck in late 2008. Nearly half (49.6 percent) of South Dakotans ages 16-19 worked in 2014, a high since 2000 when the rate was 50.9 percent. Those rates compare to a recent low of 41.1 percent in 2010.
More than a third (34 percent) of South Dakota's senior citizens worked in 2014, compared to 28.1 percent in 2000. That age group's rate had hovered at just below 30 percent until it increased to more than 33 percent in 2011. It has stayed near that level since.
The Sioux Falls metro area (Lincoln, McCook, Minnehaha, and Turner counties) continued its trend of exceeding the statewide figure, with 82.6 percent of adults working. That's a high since 2008, when 83.4 percent of adults were working in the metro area. In the Rapid City metro area (Pennington, Meade and Custer counties), the trend remains at slightly below the statewide average. In 2014, 77.2 percent of adults were working, also a high since 2008 when the rate was 77.9 percent.
South Dakota males continued the trend of working at higher rates than females, logging the widest gender gap in recent history in 2014. Males ages 16-64 worked at a rate of 80.2 percent, compared to 74.9 percent for females of the same ages. Females logged a recent high rate of 76.9 percent in 2008 when males worked at a rate of 80.6 percent -- the only rate higher than 2014 in recent history.
South Dakota had begun to narrow the education spending gap with its neighbors at the start of this decade, but state budget cuts in 2011 widened the difference and the gap has continued to grow in recent years, a South Dakota Dashboard analysis of federal data shows.
That gap was the smallest in 2008 and grew to its widest disparity in the five-year period by 2013, the most recent year for which data measuring all the states is available.
The federal data measures state and school district revenue and spending between 2008 and 2013, including revenue from the federal, state and local levels. It shows that South Dakota had increased per-student spending in 2008 and 2009 and was on track to almost catch up with the pack by 2013. The next lowest spender in the region, Iowa, held mostly steady between 2009 and 2010 while South Dakota increased per-student spending by 4.1 percent. From 2010 to 2011 Iowa registered only a 0.4 percent increase, but South Dakota cut 0.6 percent and fell further behind.
Had South Dakota continued making 4.1 percent increases each year, the state would have reached 97 percent of Iowa's per-student spending by 2013. Instead, the cuts left South Dakota's per-student spending at 82 percent of Iowa's in 2013, compared to 90 percent in 2008 and 91 percent in 2010.
Here's a look at how South Dakota's per-student spending has compared to other neighboring states during the same years:
Neighboring states have, in some cases, suffered modest cuts or temporary stagnation during the five-year period, but the overwhelming regional trend is continued increases in K-12 per-student spending, as the chart shows.
South Dakota has countered this trend and by 2013 had not returned to spending levels the preceded the 2011 across-the-board budget cuts that precipitated the drop in education spending. In 2013, South Dakota's K-12 spending had ticked past its 2008 level of $8,367, but had not yet reached the five-year high of 2010 ($8,858).
This look at K-12 spending in South Dakota and surrounding states is the third in a series of reports highlighting data specific to education prepared by the South Dakota Dashboard and the Black Hills Knowledge Network. The series will examine what the available data shows about education funding, practices and achievements both statewide and in individual school districts. To view other segments, see our Education Data Series Archive.
Taxpayer money sent to public K-12 education in South Dakota and across the United States goes largely to teacher salaries and benefits, shows a South Dakota Dashboard analysis of recently released federal data for the year 2013.
Teacher salaries consumed 34.4 percent of the $1.3 billion public schools in South Dakota received from federal, state and local taxpayers. An additional 9.7 percent went towards employee benefits for teachers. All totaled, the $579.5 million spent on teacher pay and benefits equaled nearly 44.1 percent of K-12 education funds allocated statewide.
South Dakota came close to the national average for the proportion of education dollars spent on teacher pay and benefits, although the dollar amount remains well behind average. Nationally, nearly 34.8 percent of public school funding was used to pay teachers' salaries plus another 13 percent for teachers' benefits. In total, teacher pay and benefits consumed 47.8 percent of the nation's K-12 public school funding in 2013.
Salaries and benefits for support staff in South Dakota, including administrators, accounted for 18.7 percent ($391 million), with $189 million (14.4 percent) in salaries and nearly $57 million (4.3 percent) in benefits. This also came close to the national figures, which were 15 percent for support staff salaries and 5.9 percent for support staff benefits.
An additional 4.9 percent of spending ($65 million) was used for “all other functions” in South Dakota. Expenditures for adult education, community services and other non-elementary-secondary programs are included in this category. South Dakota’s rate of spending for services outside of instructional and support staff is on par with the national average of 4.6 percent.
The federal report, Public Education Finances 2013, from the U.S. Census Bureau, slices school spending several different ways for all 50 states. Here's a look at how much is spent on “support” categories in South Dakota.
The report breaks down the $391 million spent on “support. .
Pupil support - $60.7 million (4.6 percent)
Instructional staff support - $44.5 million (3.4 percent)
General administration - $38.1 million (3 percent)
School administration - $53.6 million (4.1 percent)
Operation & maintenance - $115.4 million (8.8 percent)
Pupil transportation - $41.8 million (3.2 percent)
Non-specified support - $36.6 million (2.8 percent)
Education Data Series
This look at K-12 spending is the second in a series of reports highlighting data specific to education prepared by the South Dakota Dashboard and the Black Hills Knowledge Network. The series will examine what the available data shows about education funding, practices and achievements both statewide and in individual school districts. To view other segments, see our Education Data Series Archive.
This week the South Dakota Governor's Office of Economic Development officially launched the South Dakota Real Wage Calculator (SDRWC), a tool that calculates the impact of income taxes and cost of living on wages across the nation. This virtual tool allows users to accurately determine and compare their purchasing power – the after tax wages adjusted by cost of living – in over 400 cities nationwide. Users can also compare salaries for up to three different locations at once.
Learn more about this tool at the South Dakota GOED's blog post.
Manufacturing led the way for job growth in South Dakota between Febrary 2015 and February 2014, 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. Other year-over-year growth sectors included the following:
The Leisure/Hospitality sector led for job losses, down 700 year-over-year. The Professional/Business Services and Financial Activities sectors were down 400 jobs each, while the Transportation Sector was down 100 jobs and the Information sector held steady with no gains or losses.
Overall, South Dakota added 5,000 jobs from February 2014 to February 2015, a 1.2 percent increase. 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).
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 manufacturing sector is on a tear in South Dakota, accounting for more than half of the 3,500 jobs created statewide between November 2013 and November 2014, according to recently updated federal data.
The wholesale trade sector runs a close second, with 1,400 new jobs over the 12-month period compared to manufacturing's 1,800 new jobs. Government and "other services" tie for the No. 3 spot with 800 new jobs in each sector.
Three sectors shed jobs during that time - leisure/hospitality (-700), education/health (-600) and retail trade (-500).
Statewide, jobs grew by 0.8 percent from November 2013 to November 2014, for 422,200 jobs and ranking South Dakota 41st nationally. Oil-boom states North Dakota and Texas led the nation, with job growth rates of 4.9 percent and 3.9 percent respectively. Mississippi and Alaska ranked at the bottom for job growth and were the only two states to lose jobs in the 12-month period, down 0.1 percent and 0.3 percent respectively.
South Dakota's recent job growth appears concentrated in the metropolitan areas, with jobs flat in the micropolitan and non-metropolitan areas.
Find much more data, exportable images and downloadable files about Jobs on the South Dakota Dashboard.