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South Dakota Leading Regional Job Growth; Government Employs 18.2% of SD Workers

South Dakota’s unemployment rate went up two ticks in May, but South Dakota is leading the region in job growth both for May 2015 and for the full preceding year:

% change in jobs, May 2015 % change in jobs since May 2014 private sector % change in jobs, May 2015 private sector % change in jobs since May 2014
South Dakota 0.3% 1.7% 0.3% 2.0%
Minnesota 0.0% 1.5% 0.0% 1.7%
Montana 0.0% 1.1% 0.1% 1.6%
Iowa 0.1% 1.4% 0.2% 1.4%
North Dakota -1.1% 0.8% -1.3% 0.7%
Nebraska -0.5% 0.6% -0.5% 0.4%
Wyoming -0.6% 0.1% -0.9% -0.2%

South Dakota is even beating the national job growth rates, which were 0.1% for May 2015 and 1.1% over the preceding year.

Of course, government keeps just about a fifth of South Dakota workers busy:

jobs private-sector jobs % public-sector jobs
Wyoming 292,900 220,900 24.6%
Montana 458,400 370,000 19.3%
South Dakota 430,400 352,200 18.2%
North Dakota 462,700 381,200 17.6%
Nebraska 998,700 826,000 17.3%
Iowa 1,568,200 1,311,200 16.4%
Minnesota 2,851,900 2,433,500 14.7%

In our region, South Dakota’s 18.2% is the third-highest percentage of jobs provided by the public sector. Minnesota has the lowest proportion of government jobs, 14.7%. Nationally, the percentage of wage and salary workers punching a government clock is 15%.


  1. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-06-22 13:16

    I can see from the second chart that it’s another Republican lie that liberals grow government. The most liberal state, MN, has the smallest per capita government. GWB grew government at an astonishing rate. Obama downsized it. Wasn’t Reagan a government grower too?

    Overall, Good for You South Dakota! More jobs is very good. Oh, but are the jobs employing people who already have one, but they’re struggling to pay bills because wages are so low? If so, that’s not something to feel very congratulatory about.

  2. Roger Elgersma 2015-06-22 14:18

    So where are all these jobs. Dick Butler started to tell where all the money was going so we got a gag law so no government employee can tell where the corruption is. We have so few real employees that no one was checking on housing assistance till Hailey Higgins looked it up herself and found hundreds getting housing assistance when they were not eligible and hundreds on the waiting list that needed it. So the conservatives are not spending it properly, they are not running a tight ship, but still hire a lot of people. Some one needs to straighten that mess out.

  3. Nathan 2015-06-22 19:49

    Deb, not sure your point is really valid… There is more to it than percentages in that chart, if you look again. I would fully expect larger populations to show less percentage employed by the state, and except for Montana it seems to be working that way.

  4. Chris S. 2015-06-22 21:33

    So… having The People organize as “the government” to pay people to perform necessary jobs is… good? Except when it’s bad? I’m confused. Can someone please send Fox “News” talking points to me so I know what to think? Otherwise I might think Pierre is engaging in KenyanCommunistSocialistTyranny or the like.

  5. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-06-22 22:56

    You’re right Nathan. (Damn math. Mutter, mutter, mutter.)

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