Workforce coordinator Jacki Miskimins tells the Mitchell Daily Republic that Mitchell’s 2.6% unemployment rate is too darn low, leaving Mitchell employers scraping the bottom of the barrel:
Miskimins said there is always a portion of the workforce that is not a good fit for various reasons, including work ethic concerns and the inability to pass a background or drug test. When you start to drop below into the 2 to 3 percent range of unemployment, it increases the percentage of labor pool that isn’t a good fit for employers, Miskimins said, calling this scenario a “dysfunctional economy.”
Dipping into that portion of the labor pool in an attempt to fill positions can also have a direct impact on consumers. The struggle to find employees or the need to hire workers who may not be a good fit can alter the service customers receive [Evan Hendershot, “Low Unemployment Burdens County Labor Supply,” Mitchell Daily Republic, 2015.10.01].
Miskimins cites an April 2015 report from Forward Sioux Falls that shows Davison County provided the second-biggest chunk of Sioux Falls’s recent in-migrants. IRS data discussed here in August show that from 2011 to 2012, folks leaving Davison County for Minnehaha and Lincoln counties outnumbered MinneLinc metropolites heading for the Corn Palace 3 to 2. Miskimins’s Mitchell Area Development Corporation is fighting that outflow with marketing. Mitchell boosters spent 18 months coming up with a new brand for the city. But again (as long as economic developers keep repeating their myopic marketing mantras, we have to keep repeating our response), the best way to keep people from leaving Mitchell for Sioux Falls is not to tell them Mitchell is wonderful, but pay them to stay.