Department of Labor and Regulation

Title - Labor Market Information Center

Overview of the labor market in August

Labor Supply

The number of South Dakotans who would be available to staff a new or expanding business, or South
Dakota's labor supply, was estimated at 56,885
in August 2016. Included in this labor supply are those who currently hold jobs (and would like to change) and those who, for a variety of reasons, do not have jobs. (See related data.)

South Dakota Labor Supply
August 2016

Map showing May 2016 labor supply estimates by county for South Dakota

Labor Force

This data is seasonally adjusted.

Preliminary estimates show the August 2016 South Dakota labor force up over the month, with the level of employed unchanged at 444,300. The level of unemployed increased by 300 (2.3 percent).

South Dakota Unemployment Rates by County
Not seasonally adjusted
August 2016

Map showing May 2016 unemployment rates by county for South Dakota

Notes about labor force data

The unemployment rate represents the number of unemployed as a percent of the labor force. People are classified as unemployed if they do not have jobs, have actively looked for work in the prior four weeks and are currently available for work. People who were not working and were waiting to be recalled to jobs from which they were temporarily laid off are also included as unemployed.

Labor force estimates for South Dakota are produced by the Labor Market Information Center in cooperation with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The concepts and definitions underlying the labor force data come from the Current Population Survey (CPS), the household survey which is the official measure of the labor force for the nation. The statewide estimate of the number of nonfarm jobs is a component of the model used to produce the labor force estimates. Other data used in this model include the number of continued unemployment insurance claims and survey data from the Current Population Survey (CPS) which is specific to the state.

Although state specific data is used in the production of the labor force estimates for South Dakota, the state monthly model estimates are controlled in "real time" to sum to national monthly labor force estimates from the CPS. Therefore, variation in the estimates of the employed and unemployed are somewhat controlled by what is happening nationally.

South Dakota Nonfarm Wage & Salaried Workers by Industry

This data is not seasonally adjusted.

Over-the-month comparisons

Based on a monthly survey of South Dakota establishments, preliminary estimates of the total nonfarm wage and salaried worker level increased by 900 (or 0.2 percent) from July 2016 to August 2016. Several industries remained relatively stable, with minimal losses over the month, including Retail Trade and Financial Activities.

The Leisure and Hospitality sector experienced worker growth, increasing by 800 workers (1.5 percent), correlating with the tourist season. Some of the tourism hot spots across the state include the Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse monuments, as well as the Badlands and Wall Drug. The Sturgis Rally takes place in August, drawing a large number of people to Rapid City and surrounding areas. All these events draw a large number of tourists, as do the resorts and campgrounds across our state. These activities significantly impact the worker growth in this industry, especially during the summer months.

Construction decreased by 700 workers (2.7 percent) in August. Historically, the construction sector peaks in the summer as crew workers fix the roads and highways across the state.

Professional and Business Services rose by 200 workers (0.6 percent) to 32,600 in August compared to 32,400 in July. Other services had a small loss over-the-month of 100 workers (0.6 percent).

Education and Health Services increased by 100 workers (0.1 percent), from 69,700 in July 2016 to 69,800 in August 2016.

Retail Trade remained relatively stable over the month, reflecting a worker level of 56,600 in August 2016. This sector also benefits from the tourism industry, as establishments within this sector are engaged in retailing merchandise, such as trinkets, clothing and other souvenirs.

Manufacturing had a small gain of 100 workers (0.2 percent), increasing from 42,300 in July to 42,400 in August. Financial Activities had a loss of 300 workers (1.0 percent).

Over-the-year comparisons

Based on a monthly survey of South Dakota establishments, preliminary estimates show total nonfarm wage and salaried worker levels increased by 11,700 (2.7 percent) from August 2015 to August 2016. Since the year 2005, the South Dakota total nonfarm worker level has continued to trend upwards.

Leisure and Hospitality increased over the year by 2,400 workers (4.6 percent) to 54,400 in August 2016. Worker levels in this sector commonly fluctuate quite a bit due to the seasonality of this sector, depending on the time of year. Worker levels trends for this sector have been fairly consistent, typically peaking in August and reflecting lower levels during January and February.

Retail Trade gained 2,600 workers (4.8 percent), rising to a level of 56,600 in August 2016. The Retail Trade sector has continued to trend upwards through August in relation to the tourist season. Later in the year, spending picks up in December for the holiday shopping season. With spending slowing considerably in February, worker levels typically decline when the snow melts during early spring.

The Construction sector increased over the year in August 2016, with the employment level increasing by 900 workers (3.7 percent). Historically, the worker levels in this industry hit highs during the summer months and decline when colder weather hits.

Education and Health Services increased over the year to 69,800 in August 2016, gaining 1,200 workers (1.7 percent). The Education and Healthcare Services sector has remained fairly stable and continues to trend upward. The aging population continues to impact the demand for health care services.

The Professional and Business services sector had an over-the-year increase of 1,300 workers (4.2 percent). The worker level in this industry has continued to trend upward since January 2004. The worker level was 31,300 in August 2015 and increased to 32,600 in August 2016.

The Wholesale Trade worker level increased over the year by 400 workers (1.9 percent) to 21,600 workers in August 2016. The Wholesale Trade sector includes establishments engaged in wholesaling merchandise, as well as rendering services incidental to the sale of merchandise.

Manufacturing experienced a minimal decrease over the year of 200 workers (0.5 percent). Worker levels had been steadily trending upward until the recession hit in 2009. Since then, worker levels have continued to trend upward.

The Other Services sector had a loss of 300 workers (1.9 percent) to a level of 15,900 workers in August 2016. Other Services include a wide variety of activities, including repair and maintenance, personal and laundry services, religious, grant making, private households and other similar organizations. Historical trends reflect consistent fluctuations with worker levels increasing during the summer months and declining in the spring months.

Financial Activities gained 500 workers (1.7 percent) reaching a level of 30,400 workers in August 2016. Worker levels within this sector had been trending upward, with a high point in 2010. Although a downturn occurred in 2014, worker levels have been trending upward again.

Government increased by 2,000 workers (2.7 percent) to a level of 75,600 in August 2016. The Government sector includes Federal, State and Local Government agencies.

For a printer-friendly version of this Overview, print pages 4-7 of the September e-Labor Bulletin (in Adobe PDF format).


Marcia Hultman, Secretary
700 Governors Drive
Pierre, SD 57501-2291
Tel. 605.773.3101
Fax. 605.773.6184