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MN Fed: American Indian Unemployment 9.6% in Big Towns, 11.5% out in Boonies

Critics of South Dakota’s economic policies often complain that South Dakota pads its rosy employment reports by failing to count joblessness on our Indian reservations. The Federal Reserve Bank of Minnesota may help rectify that data gap. Its new Native American Labor Market Dashboard seeks to provide data on unemployment among American Indian and Alaska Native people. The jobless rates as of April among our Native neighbors: 9.6% in metro areas, 11.5% in non-metro areas:

Federal Reserve Bank of Minnesota, Native American Labor Market Dashboard, retrieved 2021.06.16.
Federal Reserve Bank of Minnesota, Native American Labor Market Dashboard, retrieved 2021.06.16.

Sample size is a problem: even the diligent Fed can give useful data only at the national level, not state by state. But this data shows we need to work harder to bring American Indians in our metro areas into the workforce and bring work opportunities to the American Indian communities outside of our metros.


  1. Porter Lansing 2021-06-16

    Hey, you MAGA’s.

    Imagine what Indians will do to you as revenge?

    Every dog has his day.

    The Big Liar proved that.

  2. Mark Anderson 2021-06-16

    I didn’t realize that South Dakota did that, wow. I guess kristi wants to control all the roads going through the rez but counting Crows is too much. I know, I know….sorry.

  3. lottie 2021-06-16

    Us Indians need more businesses on the Rez. Cities can be nice too but too much crime and bickering.

  4. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-06-17

    And Lottie, that’s why I would argue that when the Governor’s Office of Economic Development intervenes in the free market by handing out tax dollars to businesses, it should focus that intervention on the Rez, where treaty violations and systemic racism have separated Indian communities from economic opportunities, creating bad economic conditions where the free market cannot solve problems on its own. Sioux Falls can create jobs on its own, without any more GOED dollars. Pine Ridge, Timber Lake, Rosebud, and other Native communities deserve more economic development focus from our state government.

  5. Jake 2021-06-17

    But Cory, when you are a trumpist Noem, you just can’t afford to lose any of your base by doing anything relating to helping those pesky Natives out!
    After all, ‘don’tcha know’ “the government gives-em EVERYTHING!” But, “I have to WORK for mine!”

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