From the January 2013 South Dakota e-Labor Bulletin
Employment Data from BEA
The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) publishes employment data for state and local areas. The data includes an estimate of the total number of jobs, including both full- and part-time jobs and detailed by place of work. (Full- and part-time jobs are counted at equal weight.) Employees, sole proprietors and active partners are all included, but unpaid family workers and volunteers are not. Proprietors are those workers who own and operate their own businesses and are reported as either farm or nonfarm workers.
The number of workers covered by unemployment insurance is a key component of the employment data published by the BEA and in information compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). For more information regarding covered workers, see South Dakota's Covered Workers & Annual Pay - 2011 Annual Summary on this website.
The chart below shows annual employment change during the 2000-2011 period. Comparative data is included for the United States, South Dakota and the Plains Region (Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota).
For the 2010-2011 period, which reflects economic recovery, South Dakota attained a total employment growth rate of 1.2 percent, compared to a growth rate of 1.1 percent for the Plains Region and 1.3 percent for the nation. The two employment sectors which comprise total employment include proprietor employment and wage and salary employment. There was employment growth across the country during the 2010-2011 period, with wage and salary employment levels increased in all three regions.
Growth by Employment Sectors
Wage and Salary Employment
In all three regions, proprietor employment reflected growth from 2010 to 2011. During the previous period from 2009 to 2010, the United States and South Dakota reflected growth, but the Plains Region showed a loss in the proprietor employment sector.
Personal Income Statistics from BEA
The BEA also releases personal income data, which is the income received by, or on behalf of, all the individuals who live in a specific geographic area. The total payroll of workers covered by unemployment insurance is a component of wage and salary disbursements included in this statistic.
The level of personal income continues to grow steadily in all three regions. In fact, South Dakota's growth in personal income from 2000 to 2011 surpassed the rate for both the Plains Region and the nation. South Dakota's personal income grew by 82.5 percent, compared to a rate of 53.2 percent for the Plains Region and 51.4 percent for the nation.
Dividing the personal income of an area by the residents of that given area produces a widely used economic indicator called per capita personal income. Since 2000, South Dakota's per capita personal income has increased by 67.4 percent, compared to 43.1 percent for the Plains Region and 37.1 percent for the nation. South Dakota's per capita personal income of $44,217 in 2011 ranks 12th of the 50 states. This means the average personal income for residents in South Dakota was higher than in 38 other states. In 2009, during the midst of the recession, South Dakota ranked 22nd.
South Dakota's per capita disposable personal income in 2011 was $41,133. This statistic measures total personal income minus personal current taxes, which includes taxes on income and on personal property.
Per capita disposable personal income is calculated as the disposable personal income of the residents of a given area divided by the resident population of the area. This measure represents the amount the average person has available for saving or for consumption. South Dakota's rank in per capita disposable income has climbed from 35th in 2000 to 10th in 2011. The rank of 10th indicates the average South Dakota resident had more money available for household spending than the residents in 40 other states. This higher rank correlates with the fact that South Dakota does not impose a state personal income tax.
Gross Domestic Product
The BEA also releases estimates of gross domestic product (GDP). GDP by state is the value added in production by the labor and capital located in a state. GDP is derived as the sum of the gross state product originating in all industries in a state. In concept, an industry's GDP by state, referred to as its "value added," is equivalent to its gross output (sales or receipts and other operating income, commodity taxes and inventory change) minus its intermediate inputs (consumption of goods and services purchased from other U.S. industries or imported). Thus, GDP by state is the state counterpart of the nation's gross domestic product (GDP), BEA's featured measure of U.S. output.
The graph below compares historical estimates of South Dakota GDP compared to estimates of real GDP as measured in chained (2005) dollars. Real GDP is an inflation-adjusted measure of each state's gross product that is based on national prices for the goods and services produced within the state.
Chained dollars is a method of adjusting real dollar amounts for inflation over time, so as to allow comparison of figures from different years.  The U.S. Department of Commerce introduced the chained-dollar measure in 1996. Chained dollars generally reflect dollar figures computed with 2005 as the base year. The technique is so named because the second number in a pair of successive years becomes the first in the next pair. The result is a "chain" of weights and averages.  The advantage of using the chained-dollar measure is that it is more closely related to any given period covered and is therefore subject to less distortion over time.
 Mark McCracken, Definition of Chained Dollars TeachMeFinance.com.
 U.S. Department of Energy, Chained Dollars, citing EIA, Annual Energy Review 1999.
Using preliminary data for 2011, the South Dakota GDP has increased 66.9 percent since 2000, increasing by $16.1 billion. The 2011 annual increase in South Dakota's GDP was 5.0 percent, ranking ninth among all states. The growth for the Plains Region was 4.3 percent, and national GDP increased by 3.9 percent for the 2010-2011 period. A review of the graph indicates the lower rates of growth for current years are reflective of the economic recovery following the recession.
Looking at real GDP for the 2010-2011 period, the national growth rate was 1.5 percent. North Dakota had the highest rate at 7.6 percent, followed by Oregon at 4.7 percent and West Virginia at 4.5 percent. South Dakota's real GDP growth rate for the 2010-2011 was 0.8 percent. Only six states had declining rates during this time period compared to 27 states for the 2007-2008 period, reflecting recessionary impacts.
Since South Dakota exports a high level of goods and services, it was inevitable our state would be impacted by the national recession. As customers from other areas of the nation drastically decreased their demand for goods and services produced by South Dakota, employment needs to produce those goods and services began to drop.
However, as the economy slowly continues to recover and the recessionary impacts fade, South Dakota's real GDP can be expected to reflect steady growth. More trend information will be available when the preliminary 2012 state estimates of GDP are released on June 6, 2013.
See a brief follow-up article, "Looking deeper at income indicators from BEA: (Farm Earnings and Nonfarm Earnings."