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Noem’s Numbers Don’t Prove Real Change in Job Growth from Bad-Plumber Ads

Governor Kristi Noem makes a new claim that her (corrupt and stolen) bad-plumber ads are working:

Today, in her State of the State Address, Governor Kristi Noem unveiled new data demonstrating the success of her Freedom Works Here initiative.

“Our state licensing boards are reporting huge increases of out-of-state applicants seeking licenses in South Dakota – including a 78% increase in plumbers, a 44% increase in electricians, and a 43% increase in accountants,” said Governor Noem in the State of the State. “Our labor force has grown by more than 10,000 people in just the last year. Our license recognition bill combined with the microphone of Freedom Works Here is a powerful tandem to fill these much-needed jobs.”

In addition to the professions highlighted in the speech, there has been an 80% increase in cosmetologists, a 22% increase in barbers, and an 11% increase in technical professions.

These numbers represent the increase in calls and emails from licensees in other states requesting information about licensure in South Dakota. Several of these individuals highlighted the Freedom Works Here campaign as a reason for their interest in moving [Governor’s Office, press release, 2024.01.09].

Note the absence of real evidence of more of the actual workers that Noem has dressed up as on TV actually going to work in South Dakota. Noem’s claim is based on requests for information about licensure, not actual arrivals and new businesses.

The claim about workforce growth is interesting, but it offers no evidence that those alleged 10,000 more workers resulted from any advertising. A look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics charts for South Dakota’s labor force and actual job count show growth trends that line up fairly well with the natural long-term growth trajectory of the last ten years:

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, South Dakota: Local Area Employment Statistics, 2013–2023, retrieved 2024.01.10.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, South Dakota: Local Area Employment Statistics, 2013–2023, retrieved 2024.01.10.

BLS says South Dakota’s labor force (employed plus unemployed) grew 2.14% from November 2022 to November 2023. That’s the 19th-highest growth rate in the nation, but 17 other states and the District of Columbia managed to outpace us on Noem’s metric without their leaders dressing up as plumbers and running for Vice-President. Notably, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer put on no vocational-drag show and still oversaw workforce growth of 4.21%, the second-highest rate in the nation.

Governor Noem needs to try harder to connect the dots between her self-promotion campaign and any real change in job growth in South Dakota.


  1. sx123 2024-01-10

    She should be promoting South Dakota in general, not targetting specific industries.

    Companies can pay for their own recruitment.

  2. All Mammal 2024-01-10

    Yeep. She’s a self-hating socialist.

    Was her claim in her speech about how she likes to eat a cry for help? It seems everything she does eat goes straight to her lips. Either that or she accidentally got em caught on the end of a bicycle pump:/ Sorry, my folks taught me better than that one. I will say she is very pretty in front of the beautiful murals adorning our capitol and I liked the concept of her top ten speech outline.

  3. DaveFN 2024-01-10

    Listening to how the great kickoff of this legislative session was framed:

    1. Gavel antics

    2. “She prioritizes people, not policies.”. – –Lt. Gov. Rhoden

    3. “Who will bring any charges against those God has chosen [with the implication the chosen are those in the room elected by the people but, in fact, chosen by God in some kind of apostolic succession paradigm or other]…we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered…”. – –Re. Craig Wexler from Romans, with a mini-sermon on church and state with questionable reference to Thomas Jefferson–all in the course of the invocation itself.

    Note to self: Noem can’t yet correctly pronounce “fentanyl.”

  4. jim 2024-01-10

    Her State of the State pictures in the Argus Leader look more like a Japanese geisha than Congresswoman Noem from five years ago. I think that she is still attractive, but it may be time to say no to additional work on the appearance. Many people are starting to notice the lips and other changes.

  5. Arlo Blundt 2024-01-10

    Of course the numbers are inadequate and misleading. That was one of Mr. Welch’s reasons for rejecting the Go West proposal. He said the Go West proposal contained an evaluation plan “that included statistics any intern could develop ” and that no real outcomes of the ad campaign could be generated from the statistics cited by Go West.. He was fired, told he “would never work in this town” , for doing his job. He was the GOAD employee assigned to supervise the selection process based on proposals from Go West and 6 other advertising firms, including firms from South Dakota. Go West is headquartered in Ohio.

  6. Donald Pay 2024-01-10

    I pointed out the porn lips quite a while ago. If she wants to look like a whore, that’s not a big deal, but lying about statistics that evaluate an ad campaign is a big deal. Certainly bullying and then firing a state employee for insisting on following the rules is a clear indication that this was corruption (self-dealing) more than economic development.

  7. Arlo Blundt 2024-01-10

    Yes, Donald I agree with you. The whole mess is a clear example of hubris in Government. Hubris is the Greek word meaning “When men (and I’d add women) think they are Gods”

  8. grudznick 2024-01-10

    Mr. Pay loves him some porn lips. This was probably known widely back in the Pierre town back in the 20th century. Check with Nettie Myers.

  9. jerry 2024-01-11

    NOem needs to go back to her former name Arnold. As a Benedict Arnold is a more fitting example of her whole mantra of truth telling.

  10. leslie 2024-01-12

    “targeting specific industries”…? Looks like she was successful promoting Sturgis transplant (from Seattle) arrested for criminally upturning metal barricades barring entrance and spraying Capitol Police to break through locked Capitol doors on January 6, South Dakota resident James “Jimmy” Haffner (on Facebook).

    That rally is such a family affair, so thanks camo-capped Kristi. Haffner wore the AR-15 murderer’s “FREE KYLE (Rittenhouse)” hoodie while confronting cops and breaking into the Capitol, in asdociation w/Proud Boys leadership that day. Good ole’ Noem “targeted” manipulation of the 2d Amendment!

    See Images 10, 14, Paragraphs 38, 39 of FBI November 2021 affidavit in support of arrest warrant/complaint. pdf 19MB

  11. leslie 2024-01-13

    Ouch, beating a dead horse, Kristi on free “dumb” & Covid!

    Trump: “What do you have to lose?”

    Science (people w/actual higher education and good conscience):

    “People who took an anti-malaria treatment that Donald Trump touted as a cure for Covid-19 in the early days of the pandemic and waning days of his presidency were 11% more likely to die from the virus, according to a new scientific study.”

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