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.