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November 21, 2004, 10:01 PM by Whitney Beem



It's a city known for its low unemployment rate. And this year, Sioux Falls is celebrating thousands of new jobs. So, you wouldn't imagine people here are having a tough time finding work. But, they are. Two weeks ago, the city of Sioux Falls announced it's added 2-thousand jobs in the last year. City officials say the local economy is rebounding. But since many of the new jobs are in the financial and retail sectors, a Sioux Falls economist warns that finding the well-paying dream job you're looking for will be harder to find than you think.

Look in the local classified ads and Augustana College Economist Reynold Nesiba says you'll get a taste for the local job market. So that's just what we did, and this is what we found.

Seventy-two general help wanted ads. Those jobs were anything from accounting assistants to welders. Twelve sales positions, ten banking jobs and thirty-five professional job ads.

While jobs vary from week to week, Nesiba says these ads reflect a long term trend in Sioux Falls and across the state. He says, "Many of the them are lower wage jobs. There's lots of jobs out there for 6,7,8 9 dollars but its harder to find those higher wage jobs that really provide a living wage."

South Dakota ranks second to the bottom when it comes to wages across the country. The South Dakota Labor Department reports the state's annual average pay stub is 27,210 dollars. That's 10 thousand dollar less than the national average. Minnesota ranks 12th in wages, Iowa is close to the bottom at 39th.

Nesiba says in the last few years globalization, out sourcing and changes in the market have taken their toll on the the local economy. He says, "Gateway is a perfect example of that." Nesiba says South Dakota has always been a place where families juggle several jobs just to keep afloat. He says, "A single person working in household has to get $8.85 to simply hit the poverty line." And with the current market, Nesiba says many of his own students are looking for jobs out of state. He says, "It's a sad thing, wish we could keep the best and brightest students right here in South Dakota."

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