SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — At a minimum, 20,604 employees in the four county metro area of Sioux Falls could be impacted by President Joe Biden’s announced rule on COVID-19 vaccines and testing.
Biden announced Thursday that the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is developing a rule to require employers with more than 100 employees ensure that employees are fully vaccinated or weekly COVID-19 testing of unvaccinated employees.
Bob Mundt, the chief executive officer and president of the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, said based on the most recent data, which is from year end 2019, the four-county Sioux Falls metro area had 204 employers with more than 100 employees. The four-county metro area is Minnehaha, Lincoln, McCook and Turner.
If all those 204 employees had the minimum 101 employees, then 20,604 employees could be impacted.
Statewide about 138,000 workers could be impacted based on data from the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation. As of 2020, private employers with 100 and more employees employ about 33% of the state’s workforce or 138,000 workers, according to the DLR.
Another data set lists more workers in the 100 and more category. About 213,730 workers could be impacted based on 2018 U.S. Census Bureau data available in May 2021. The Census Bureau list is a North American Industry Classification System list.”NAICS is based on a production-oriented concept, meaning that it groups establishments into industries according to similarity in the processes used to produce goods or services,” according to the Census.
The Sioux Falls area has 8,000 businesses so the 204 employers with more than 100 employees makes up about 2.5% of all businesses.
The Census Bureau breaks down size of employees in categories under 100 and then, from 100 on up. The subcategories are listed as firms, establishments and employment. The use of firms and establishments could cause some overlaps.
In the 100 to 149 range, there are 172 firms, 521 establishment with employment of 14,334.
The DLR has more employees listed in the under 20 employee range than the Census Bureau list.
Small businesses make up a good share of the private workforce in the state. In general, a small business has fewer than 500 employees, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Small businesses with 500 or fewer employees employed 58% of the South Dakota private workforce in 2017, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. The South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation said the employed workforce was 466,472 and the total workforce was 479,175 in July 21.
Statewide small businesses in the state employed 209,403 people in the state in 2017, according to the SBA’s 2020 Small Business Profile for South Dakota.
The Census Bureau lists 210,301 employed at businesses with 500 or fewer employees in 2018.
Several of the metro area’s largest employers already have employee vaccine requirements. Sanford and Avera, two major health organizations, have vaccine requirements.
Sanford, without Good Samaritan Society, and Avera employ about a combined roughly 20,000 people.
The Veterans Administration requires vaccines for employees at its hospital and facilities. It employs between 1,000 and 1,500 people in the area, according to the Sioux Falls Development Foundation.
Walmart also requires at least some of its employees to be vaccinated.