Update: Post-Minimum Wage Hike, South Dakota Beats 2014 Job Growth in Five Months

Quick update on my June 24 post on job growth post-minimum wage—we can now add South Dakota’s May figures for labor force, jobs, and unemployment, plus revised figures from April, from the Department of Labor:

Year Month Labor Force Jobs Unemployed Unemp%
2014 Jan 447,080 431,355 15,723 3.5%
2014 Feb 447,345 431,780 15,565 3.5%
2014 Mar 447,595 432,150 15,445 3.5%
2014 Apr 447,830 432,490 15,340 3.4%
2014 May 448,080 432,880 15,200 3.4%
2014 Jun 448,340 433,315 15,025 3.4%
2014 Jul 448,550 433,685 14,865 3.3%
2014 Aug 448,705 433,930 14,775 3.3%
2014 Sep 448,790 434,020 14,770 3.3%
2014 Oct 448,815 433,985 14,830 3.3%
2014 Nov 448,795 433,880 14,915 3.3%
2014 Dec 448,755 433,730 15,025 3.3%
2015 Jan 449,230 434,090 15,140 3.4%
2015 Feb 450,285 434,930 15,355 3.4%
2015 Mar 451,610 435,615 15,995 3.5%
2015 Apr 452,965 436,555 16,410 3.6%
2015 May 454,650 437,440 17,210 3.8%

May saw South Dakota reach another all-time high in willing workers and actual jobs. Now let’s look at the monthly changes in labor force, jobs, and unemployed workers, keeping in mind that South Dakota increased its minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50 on January 1, 2015, and that opponents of that hike told us that that increase would kill jobs:

Year Month chg: labor force chg: jobs chg: unemp
2014 Jan 300 505 -207
2014 Feb 265 425 -158
2014 Mar 250 370 -120
2014 Apr 235 340 -105
2014 May 250 390 -140
2014 Jun 260 435 -175
2014 Jul 210 370 -160
2014 Aug 155 245 -90
2014 Sep 85 90 -5
2014 Oct 25 -35 60
2014 Nov -20 -105 85
2014 Dec -40 -150 110
2015 Jan 475 360 115
2015 Feb 1,055 840 215
2015 Mar 1,325 685 640
2015 Apr 1,355 940 415
2015 May 1,685 885 800

To update figures I provided on June 24:

  • Average monthly change in workforce in 2014: 165.
  • Average monthly change in workforce in 2015: 1,179.
  • Average monthly change in jobs in 2014: 240.
  • Average monthly change in jobs in 2015: 742.

Since January’s minimum wage increase, every month this year has seen more people join South Dakota’s workforce than any month in 2014. Every month this year except for January has seen more new jobs created than any month in 2014. The minimum wage increase coincides with a reversal of a downward trend in both workforce participation and job creation.

In 2014, South Dakota saw a net gain of 2,880 jobs. In the first five months of 2015, South Dakota has seen a net gain of 3,710 jobs.

Again, to be absolutely clear, these two tables do not allow us to conclude that increasing the minimum wage creates jobs or draws more people to look for work. But these two tables do allow us to conclude that increasing the minimum wage has not caused South Dakota to lose jobs.


5 Responses to Update: Post-Minimum Wage Hike, South Dakota Beats 2014 Job Growth in Five Months

  1. rollin potter

    Only one thing wrong CORY, the people will still keep voting in the same republicans to represent us in Pierre!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Roger Cornelius

    On a national level the unemployment rate dropped to 5.3%, the lowest in 7 years since the republicans trashed the economy.
    Also the economy added another 230,000 jobs.
    What continues to slow the economy, especially in the Midwest, is that wages remain stagnant while we price increases for food, shelter, etc.

  3. We have filled many of our SD job vacancies with displaced oil field workers from ND. That could be a large part of the increase in job growth in SD and not all should be attributed to an incerase in minimum wage. I think it’s coincidental.

  4. Not if we keep raising their awareness of stats like this, Rollin. Social inertia and prejudices eventually have to give way to facts.

    Coincidental? Perhaps, TimA. Perhaps we have lucked out with workers moving south from the unsustainable oil fields (if by “benefit” we mean increasing the percentage of disappointed get-rich-quick drifters in our workforce). I acknowledge the possibility of coincidence and do not firmly claim causality. But my point remains: increasing the minimum wage has not yet caused the job losses that the South Dakota Retailers Association and the SDGOP fervently warned would happen.

  5. Roger, all those new jobs nationally—we’re blaming Obama, right? :-)