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Tsitrian: Noem Cites Unemployment Data to Mask Chronic Labor Shortage

John Tsitrian continues South Dakota Standard‘s close watch on Governor Kristi Noem’s economic propaganda:

She also claims that South Dakota’s unemployment rate, at 1.9%, is the lowest in American history, which is true if you don’t count the World War II years, when the national unemployment rate got down to 1.2% in 1944. I suppose there’s some way of seeing an unemployment rate that low as a good thing, in the sense that nearly everybody who wants a job has one.

A broader perspective sees it in another light. Workers are not entering South Dakota at a pace that can keep up with the growth of available jobs.

We have a severe labor shortage in our state. As I noted in a piece I wrote about this a few weeks ago, “the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says that South Dakota has 34 available workers for every 100 job openings. If you navigate your way through the Chamber’s report, you’ll find that South Dakota is a) the most severely short in our region, b) last among our contiguous neighboring states and c) far short of the national numbers that show up in an accompanying report.” That report shows that there are 60 unemployed workers available for every 100 jobs nationally.

Noem should be asking herself why workers aren’t migrating to this great state that she touts, not bragging about the fact that we have so few unemployed [John Tsitrian, “Noem Keeps Lying About Our Economy. She Just Repeated the Falsehood That S.D. Has the Nation’s Strongest Economy,” South Dakota Standard, 2023.06.04].

Low unemployment is good, it would be even better to open the doors and let in more immigrants to do the jobs that are going undone in South Dakota due to our chronic labor shortage.


  1. John 2023-06-05 07:38

    Noem ought to be sending busses to the border to bring immigrants to rebuild SD’s labor force.

  2. P. Aitch 2023-06-05 07:40

    Why are you afraid of people who speak Spanish?

  3. e platypus onion 2023-06-05 07:54

    Premium Pork out of Hospers, iowa bought bankrupt Windumb plant and will relocate about 450 migrant workers back to their home countries unless Noem hijacks the bus and captures more experienced workers for South Duhkota. These workers could replace every magat in government in your state at a lower cost and much lower per diem and get more done in a day.

  4. Joe 2023-06-05 12:39

    As mentioned here awhile back I chatted with a prospective employer in Rapid about one of these vacant jobs. The kicker was that it paid about 1/2 of what I currently make for a similar set of roles and responsibilities. The COL in Rapid is less, but not nearly that much less.

  5. O 2023-06-05 18:43

    What are these jobs that need filling? I would say that much of this labor shortage is actually Hanover abundance of poor-quality, underpaying jobs.

  6. John 2023-06-06 20:09

    The Floriduh republicans are having a V-8 moment — telling their local immigrants, “we didn’t mean it” (with their legislature’s anti-immigrant laws — as the immigrants flee Floriduh.
    The Floriduh republicans are realizing they will not have enough labor to build their houses, maintain their houses, harvest their crops, and mow their lawns.

    Maybe Floriduh will be able to import 262 Tyson workers from South Dakota to maintain their houses, harvest their crops, and mow their lawns.

    8 billion people in this world. And South Dakota has a labor shortage. How? Why? If there ever was a problem that is this EASY to solve . . .

  7. leslie 2023-06-07 01:58

    Sounds like an emergency SDNG could deploy to protect us all, duh

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