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Noem Cuts Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, Rapid City Restaurants Still Short Staff

The Noem Administration has made a big deal about terminating pandemic unemployment benefits early, on June 26, as a way to address South Dakota’s chronic labor shortage.

Yet four weeks after that policy change, the headlines remain the same:

Rushmore Crossing’s newest business opened its doors Wednesday. Storming Crab is a family-owned cooperation with plans to bring a southern touch to Rapid City with country-boiled seafood, however like many other restaurants in the area, staffing remains an issue.

…Just down the road…Makenzie River recently adjusted their restaurant hours, deciding to close their doors two days a week.

“To help give a break to our employees that are here. A lot of them are overworked and are getting a crazy amount of hours at this time and we definitely need a little bit more help, that’s for sure” [staff, “Rapid City Restaurants Struggle to Find Workers,” KOTA-TV, 2021.07.22].

We’ve frequently discussed the real and systemic causes of South Dakota’s worker shortage: rethinking of personal priorities, low pay, and crappy weather. The anecdotal evidence from Rapid City’s restaurateurs supports the notion that all the noise about the federal pandemic assistance that is keeping this state afloat was mere scapegoating to distract us from our state leaders’ failure to govern effectively.


  1. Guy 2021-07-24

    Yep, Noem keeps blaming the labor shortage on the wrong things as a way to keep up her campaigning narrative. Meanwhile, all her denials and scapegoating do absolutely nothing to solve the labor shortage problem in our state. Kristi is excaberating the problem because she refuses to face reality. Reality destroys the credibility of her narrative.

  2. Porter Lansing 2021-07-24

    Q ~ Why is the labor shortage worse in conservative states?

    A ~ Because conservatives are mean to Mexicans. Even fully legal folks, with green cards.

    So, complain and invent other reasons but the answer lies in your mean spirit, South Dakota.

  3. I’m No Dr. Suess 2021-07-24

    Maybe Kristi could use her wait-staff experience to help at a restaurant for a few days. Then she could get the inside scoop from workers about what is causing labor shortages, like on Undercover Bosses.

  4. Guy 2021-07-24

    I’m No Dr. Suess – Since Kristi is a “Part-Time Governor,” she actually would have plenty of time to help out at a restaurant with her prior experience waiting tables. BUT…there is only problem with your suggestion…it would cut into her time for presidential campaigning in other states.

  5. grudznick 2021-07-24

    Restaurants without lazy workers, like the Campbell Street cafe, Talleys, and the Mud Hole have no issues making big money. And their workers profit.

    For you fellows further out in the district numbered 30, all your eateries are just slamming out the food. Keep it up.

  6. Anne 2021-07-24

    Old Grudgenuts is mighty incoherent these days.

  7. ABC 2021-07-24

    Republicans believe in 3 things-

    1. Wear no masks
    2. Get delta coronavirus
    3. Spread it

    Democrats and Independents need to stay healthy and masked, sell t shirts that say, Delta kills 250 people a day. I’m not one of them. Get vaccinated. Wear a mask.

    Democrats and Progressives can believe and do 2 things-

    1. Register 3 people to vote.
    2. Crush the R Party every 2 years.

  8. ABC 2021-07-24

    Belief makes the impossible happen.

  9. Mark Anderson 2021-07-24

    Keep your lazy mind working Grudz, its always fun to read. My daughter manages a new bar in Brooklyn on the sixth floor open air too, helped design it, hired well over 40 employees, training them, bought all the equipment. Its right on the water and behind the bar all windows and the skyline of Manhatten. All this in just over one month working 14hr days 31 days in a row. Its right across the street from the Brooklyn brewery in Greenpoint a wonderful neighborhood. The hiring was tough but it’s easy to see that they want excellence so people want to work there. They don’t want to work for lazy owners.

  10. Ray Tysdal 2021-07-27

    Over the past 6 decades I have worked many jobs from menial to skill related and have experienced and observed many things. One thing that rises to the top is this: if an employee is treated poorly or is cheated or scammed on wages, hours, etc. the human response is to pay that behavior back. Example: If a worker is cheated out of an hour of overtime he/she WILL take that hour back EVERY TIME THEY THINK ABOUT IT FOR THE REST OF THE TIME THEY ARE EMPLOYED AT THAT JOB! The only exceptions to this theory seems to be new immigrants (legal or illegal). Maybe this is why the Republicans for decades have fought immigration reform…they could screw those new people on a regular basis with low wages and no benefits. Now, by habit, they are blaming those very folks they have been screwing. The party of personal responsibility has become the party of total blame and deflection. Pay and treat your workers well and they will respond in kind. If you do this, the lazy, incompetent worker will stand out like a sore thumb…you won’t find as many as some seem to think.

  11. mike from iowa 2021-12-02

    iowa, Tennessee, Floriduh and Kansass have stopped unemployment payments to able bodied workers, but carved out new class of recipients, able bodied thugs who lose jobs for refusing to get vaccinated.

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