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Health Care Dominates Job Openings in South Dakota

A couple weeks ago, KELO-TV reported that South Dakota has 29,000 job openings advertised online in the state’s SDWorks database. This morning that figure is 28,294.

Of the 15,797 openings that indicate the hirer’s industry sector, 39% of the open jobs are in health care and social service. Another 13% are in retail, and 10% are in manufacturing.

South Dakota Works, industry sectors of advertised jobs, 2021.10.30.
South Dakota Works, industry sectors of advertised jobs, data 2021.10.29, retrieved 2021.10.30.

The most in-demand jobs are in health care: we’re short nurses, doctors, and physical and occupational therapists. South Dakota also needs more people to move merchandise, both literally and sales-ally:

SD Works, specific occupations with openings advertised online with state, data 2021.10.29, retrieved 2021.10.30
SD Works, specific occupations with openings advertised online with state, data 2021.10.29, retrieved 2021.10.30.

Amidst the harvest, farmers either have all the help they need or aren’t advertising through the state for help (because you don’t go looking for undocumented workers through the Department of Labor, right?): job listings for farming, fishing, and forestry rank behind 20 other occupation groups in terms of the number of job opportunities offered to South Dakotans.

SD Works, job openings by occupation group, data 2021.10.29, retrieved 2021.10.30.
SD Works, job openings by occupation group, data 2021.10.29, retrieved 2021.10.30.

But agriculture generates a lot more jobs that aren’t literally out in the field. Giant ag co-op CHS Inc. alone has 167 openings listed with the state, placing them among the ten firms with the most job openings. John Deere dealer C&B Operations LLC has another 160 openings. But the health care providers on that list— Sanford, Avera, and Monument hospital systems, plus Good Sams nursing homes and Aya traveling nurses—together are ready to put over 12 times as many South Dakotans to work.

SD Works, employers with most advertised job openings, data 2021.10.29, retrieved 2021.10.30.
SD Works, employers with most advertised job openings, data 2021.10.29, retrieved 2021.10.30.

Minnehaha County has 22.24% of the state’s population, but our largest county is advertising 32.26% of the state’s job openings, indicating the big city’s reliance on commuter labor. Neighboring Lincoln County has 7.35% of the state’s population but only 5.45% of the state’s job openings, indicating it provides launchpads and sleeping quarters for many of those Minnehaha commuting workers. Along that same line, the other four counties adjoining Minnehaha—Moody, Lake, McCook, and Turner—all have higher proportions of state population than they do of current job openings.

A similar imbalance exists around Rapid City. Pennington County has 12.32% of the state’s population but is offering 16.00% of the job openings. The counties adjoining the populous western half of Pennington—Lawrence, Meade, and Custer—all have higher proportions of the state population than of the total job openings statewide (though the difference isn’t much in Custer County, which has 0.94% of our population and 0.91% of our current job openings).

Area Name Job Openings 2021.10.29 population openings
/1,000 population
% of SD openings % of SD population
Minnehaha 9,097 197,214 46.1 32.26% 22.24%
Pennington 4,511 109,222 41.3 16.00% 12.32%
Lincoln 1,537 65,161 23.6 5.45% 7.35%
Brown 1,269 38,301 33.1 4.50% 4.32%
Codington 1,128 28,325 39.8 4.00% 3.19%
Hughes 1,122 17,765 63.2 3.98% 2.00%
Brookings 1,098 34,375 31.9 3.89% 3.88%
Yankton 970 23,310 41.6 3.44% 2.63%
Davison 727 19,956 36.4 2.58% 2.25%
Lawrence 721 25,768 28.0 2.56% 2.91%
Beadle 701 19,149 36.6 2.49% 2.16%
Union 408 16,811 24.3 1.45% 1.90%
Clay 355 14,967 23.7 1.26% 1.69%
Meade 308 29,852 10.3 1.09% 3.37%
Lake 282 11,059 25.5 1.00% 1.25%
Custer 256 8,318 30.8 0.91% 0.94%
Charles Mix 224 9,373 23.9 0.79% 1.06%
Tripp 182 5,624 32.4 0.65% 0.63%
Grant 176 7,556 23.3 0.62% 0.85%
Roberts 160 10,280 15.6 0.57% 1.16%
Todd 157 9,319 16.8 0.56% 1.05%
Bon Homme 154 7,003 22.0 0.55% 0.79%
Brule 154 5,247 29.4 0.55% 0.59%
McCook 140 5,682 24.6 0.50% 0.64%
Butte 135 10,243 13.2 0.48% 1.16%
Hand 134 3,145 42.6 0.48% 0.35%
Hutchinson 133 7,427 17.9 0.47% 0.84%
Moody 131 6,336 20.7 0.46% 0.71%
Marshall 128 4,306 29.7 0.45% 0.49%
Kingsbury 122 5,187 23.5 0.43% 0.58%
Spink 112 6,361 17.6 0.40% 0.72%
Fall River 108 6,973 15.5 0.38% 0.79%
Deuel 106 4,295 24.7 0.38% 0.48%
Douglas 102 2,835 36.0 0.36% 0.32%
Gregory 100 3,994 25.0 0.35% 0.45%
Walworth 99 5,315 18.6 0.35% 0.60%
Potter 85 2,472 34.4 0.30% 0.28%
Hamlin 72 6,164 11.7 0.26% 0.70%
Day 65 5,449 11.9 0.23% 0.61%
Haakon 64 1,872 34.2 0.23% 0.21%
Jerauld 60 1,663 36.1 0.21% 0.19%
Miner 51 2,298 22.2 0.18% 0.26%
Stanley 50 2,980 16.8 0.18% 0.34%
Edmunds 46 3,986 11.5 0.16% 0.45%
Dewey 46 5,239 8.8 0.16% 0.59%
Aurora 41 2,747 14.9 0.15% 0.31%
Bennett 33 3,381 9.8 0.12% 0.38%
Mellette 32 1,918 16.7 0.11% 0.22%
Lyman 30 3,718 8.1 0.11% 0.42%
Turner 29 8,673 3.3 0.10% 0.98%
Faulk 29 2,125 13.6 0.10% 0.24%
Perkins 27 2,835 9.5 0.10% 0.32%
Jones 26 917 28.4 0.09% 0.10%
Buffalo 24 1,948 12.3 0.09% 0.22%
Hyde 23 1,262 18.2 0.08% 0.14%
Sanborn 20 2,330 8.6 0.07% 0.26%
Clark 20 3,837 5.2 0.07% 0.43%
Hanson 17 3,461 4.9 0.06% 0.39%
McPherson 17 2,411 7.1 0.06% 0.27%
Jackson 16 2,806 5.7 0.06% 0.32%
Sully 10 1,446 6.9 0.04% 0.16%
Campbell 8 1,377 5.8 0.03% 0.16%
Corson 6 3,902 1.5 0.02% 0.44%
Ziebach 3 2,413 1.2 0.01% 0.27%
Harding 2 1,311 1.5 0.01% 0.15%
Oglala Lakota 0 13,672 0.0 0.00% 1.54%
State Total 28,199 886,667 31.8

(Note that the 28,199 total is less than the 28,294 reported above, perhaps because a handful of jobs postings don’t have a recognizable county.)

South Dakota has 31.8 job openings for every 1,000 people. Minnesota, with over 205,000 job openings statewide and a population of 5.7 million, has 35.9 job openings per 1,000 inhabitants.

Hughes County has the highest ratio of openings to population in the state, 63.2. Minnehaha, Hand, Yankton, and Pennington are all in the 40s. Ten other counties (Codington, Beadle, Davison, Jerauld, Douglas, Potter, Haakon, Brown, Tripp, and just barely Brookings) beat the state ratio. 51 of our 66 counties are offering fewer jobs per 1K population than the state average.

8 Comments

  1. Richard Schriever 2021-10-30

    From my readings on the subject this summer, SD employs more traveling nurses to any other state – 27,000 jobs/year. That’s not as a proportional number – that’s as the gross number in regard to ranking. As a per/100,000 proportion, it’s not even a contest. Traveling nurses, on average, move from one job/site to another every 90 days +/-. Typically, they are younger folks, mainly but not exclusively single, and out to get experience in not just their profession, but in the various regional cultural aspects of the country.

  2. John 2021-10-30

    The state’s lame idea that South Dakota’s biggest industry is agriculture hasn’t been supported by any facts in generations.
    That’s before accounting for the federal and state agricultural subsidies.
    Nice work and thanks, Corey.

  3. Porter Lansing 2021-10-30

    But … your Governor touts her state as being “the best state to find a job”, which means you can’t and won’t pay people to live here.
    -Also, she claims “top 3 for economic health”, which means employers pay so little they make bank and their workers suffer.
    -And, “One of the best states that provide opportunities for working moms.”, which means again, nobody can afford to work here, so opportunities abound.
    -Noem brags that SD is “Top 10 for health care”, which is just a lie unless she’s talking about how much money Doctors make, without having to help people that need Medicaid.
    -Top ten for “work environment for nurses”. The role of the RN in primary care is to provide nursing care to a diverse group of patients and families in a community-based setting using the knowledge, skills and abilities of the nursing profession. She must mean that since SD has little to no diversity, the hardest part of nursing (dealing with people that look, act, and think differently) isn’t a problem. However, the personal rewards are poor because of it.
    -She expounds, “We have about 700 people on unemployment — marking one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation. And we currently have 40 jobs available for every person on unemployment.” But also, the highest rejection rate for people that need to claim their unemployment insurance benefits. That’s a statewide crime, yet to be investigated.

    Kristi Noem’s spokesperson (Ian Furry) is a shallow, con artist who found a cushy job in a state full of Republicans, who don’t think or care about politics.

    .

  4. ArloBlundt 2021-10-30

    Well…Employment/UnEmployment has never been much of a Republican issue. They feel that if they just do all they can to manipulate the system to maximize profits that employment takes care of itself in a survival of the fittest environment. To Republicans, its not an issue worth spending any money on.

  5. Mark Anderson 2021-10-30

    Hey, you can start at Sanford when your 12 right?

  6. jerry 2021-10-31

    Farmers may be looking for extra income as China has figured a way to use less soybean imports. “China’s scientists say they have found a way to create animal feed from carbon monoxide on an industrial scale – a breakthrough that could help reduce the country’s dependence on imported soybeans.”

  7. ABC 2021-11-10

    Let’s create 3 jobs in Harding County!

    Lots of room there to create anything, software, hey, even 3 Full time Party recruiters!

  8. ABC 2021-11-10

    3 Progressive Party recruiters! in Harding County.

    Of course!

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