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South Dakota Job Creation Mediocre to Poor Under Daugaard

Excuse me, Governor Daugaard—did you drop this microphone? I think you forgot to give the jobs report….

Governing reports that 39 states reported job growth from December 2014 to January 2015. South Dakota was one of them… the least of them, posting a meager 0.02% job growth. Minnesota lost jobs in January at a rate of –0.28%… hmm… minimum wage hike coming to roost? Probably not, since states that approved minimum wage increases during 2014 are spread across that job-gain table. Minnesota’s job decline may better be explained as a predictable drop after higher-than-usual seasonal hiring. Every other adjoining state enjoyed higher job growth in January, from Iowa at 0.20% to Nebraska (also a minimum-wage raiser) at 0.47%.

From January 2014 to January 2015, South Dakota’s job growth rate was 0.7%, tied for third-lowest in the nation (with New Hampshire, Virginia, and Hawaii). All adjoining states beat us. Minnesota grew jobs by 1.0%.

South Dakota: Good for ALEC, great for retirees... blah for job creation? [Business and economic rankings for South Dakota, cited by Governor's Office of Economic Development, 2014 Annual Report, p.6.)
South Dakota: Good for ALEC, great for retirees… blah for job creation? [Business and economic rankings for South Dakota, cited by Governor’s Office of Economic Development, 2014 Annual Report, p.6.—click to embiggen!)
[Feel free to review my data on this Google spreadsheet.]

Since Governor Dennis Daugaard took office, South Dakota has added just about 22,000 jobs. That’s a 5.44% job growth rate, 31st in the nation. We beat Wyoming (4.23%), but ever other adjoining state beat us, including Minnesota (6.85%) and North Dakota (no fair comparing the oil fields, but… 22.21%).

Hmm… the Governor’s Office of Economic Development tells us we have all these great rankings for our economic climate, but over Governor Daugaard’s tenure, our job creation as sunk from mediocre to nearly last place. What part of the equation are my fellow workers and I missing?


  1. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-03-18 16:50

    MN will probably have a negative report for March too, due to huge cuts at Target. Those cuts are not at all related to minimum wage raises. Target has a new CEO who is making overdue reductions in the top heavy corporation. More than 1000 officepositions are going.

  2. Jenny 2015-03-18 23:16

    IBM in Rochester MN also laid off several hundred employees in January as they continue to move jobs overseas, so I’m sure Target and IBM are culprits for the negative job growth and not the measly minimum wage increase.

  3. Jana 2015-03-19 01:04

    I Black Hills Knowledge Network research shows that one of our strongest areas of job growth is in government hiring (and no, teachers aren’t in this sector.) Health, education are declining and manufacturing is barely growing. Tourism/hospitality/leisure is shedding jobs. The largest job growth is in professional services.

    Thank you Black Hills Knowledge Network for all you do!

    Google news shows that manufacturing job losses are a disturbing trend and yet that is where we are spending our tax dollars to recruit a sector that is experiencing low to negative job growth.

    What’s crazy is that we are trying to recruit a manufacturing workforce while flaunting a “Right to Work State – no collective bargaining for you” in their face.

    So where are we spending tax payer money? Obviously the Republicans running Pierre are really good at hiring! But wait, we’re investing money in training our kids for sectors where job growth is down or flat?

    So professional services is growing but at the same time we are making it harder for kids to get a 4 year degree to meet that demand?

    How many family farms and dairy’s did we lose to out of state corporations incentivized by our tax dollars?

    The good news for the Republican Central Party Politburo is that they have made it harder for independents to take their jobs!

    Someone please call Kool-aid and tell them to stop shipping whatever it is that the GOP is drinking because it isn’t doing us any good.

    In the meantime, I guess we can thank the Governor and the legislature for being so good at hiring people on our dime to bolster our job growth…wait…what? Isn’t one of the dogmatic principals of the GOP that government doesn’t create jobs?!?

  4. Lynn 2015-03-19 06:48

    Target’s losses are mostly self inflicted due mostly to their massive credit card data breach and the losses and abandonment of their market in Canada with the closure of operations there and the affected support jobs located at their headquarters in Minneapolis. There were a few other costly missteps all made under the CEO that was forced to resign with a large golden parachute which added salt to the wounds.

    Many good jobs were lost and Target remains a very loyal and popular choice for consumers and is known for their corporate philanthropy tracing back to their Dayton family heritage.

  5. Lynn 2015-03-19 07:15

    As I commented on the Constant Commoner you would think that with 40 years of Republican rule here in South Dakota that we would be an economic booming engine used as an example for other states to follow especially those that more liberal leaning or obstructed by a politically balanced government. Our SDGOP had a green light to basically do what they wished and if they were really innovative and with the ability to adapt there really should not be an excuses for failure. So what happened all these years?

    Governor Daugaard at least in my opinion is maintaining the status quo. He’s not known as being a dynamic and innovative Governor. He is simply carrying on the longstanding policies with adding a little more transparency to government most likely not by choice since things were getting so bad such as EB-5, Anderson Seed and other fiascos that were coming to a head.

    They sell South Dakota as a low wage state, subsidize the hell out of it using state and local tax dollars, put up buildings for these companies, the locals work their butts off knowing they are competing against Mexico, China, Indonesia or the next cheapest place where besides very low wages there are no environmental or child labor laws or it’s very corrupt and not play by the rules there. Then when the state and local incentives expire the company moves manufacturing out of the US and the cycle continues.

    There are other examples observed here in the state where highly productive longtime South Dakota employees/taxpayers have been shafted due to our states economic policies. Either way it’s for short term hollow gains and not long term investment.

  6. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-03-19 16:42

    Jenny, I forgot about the IBM layoffs. You are right, that made a difference too.

    Lynn, Target has rebounded from the credit card breach in terms of sales numbers and volume according to the Strib. But leaving Canada was definitely a fiscal blow. Steinhafel was an idiot and a lousy CEO.

  7. leslie 2015-03-20 20:25

    I know a red “right to work” (for republican ME at Slave Labor wages) state is 100% convinced that organizing for better wages and benefits is BBBBBAAAAAADDDD. But, is there a way we can start to turn this around? initiate union protection somehow and then build on that over the years?

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