FDIC analyst Richard Cofer did a lot more in his presentation to the South Dakota Banking Commission last week than just prove that Governor Kristi Noem lied about South Dakota’s coronavirus jobs recovery. His slideshow includes a troubling graph showing that manufacturing jobs in South Dakota were slumping well before the pandemic hit:
We had a fairly good trend of growth in jobs manufacturing nondurable gods prior to the pandemic, but growth in total manufacturing employment started to weaken right around when Noem’s first budget kicked in last summer, went negative by fall 2019, and has continued trending down right through the pandemic. While we’ve recovered some jobs in other sectors, South Dakota had fewer people working in manufacturing in July than it did in April:
Governor Noem continues to insist to her national audience that South Dakota is a great place to grow your business. But for the past year, prior to the pandemic, manufacturers appear to have been choosing to shrink their business in South Dakota.