Sioux Falls-area labor pool is tightest in S.D.

Capitol News Bureau

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — October unemployment was 2.1% in Minnehaha County and even lower in several of the South Dakota counties around Sioux Falls, according to the latest monthly update from the state Department of Labor and Regulation.

The November e-Labor Bulletin reported unemployment statewide was 2.3% last month without seasonal adjustments. That was down from 3.2% for October 2020.

“South Dakota’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in October 2021 was 2.8 percent, tying with Idaho and Vermont for having the fourth-lowest rate of all states and the District of Columbia,” state Labor and Regulation Secretary Marcia Hultman said in a statement to KELOLAND News.

“At 13,300, the number of unemployed South Dakotans is back to pre-pandemic levels. The number of South Dakotans employed is 1,200 more than one year ago. Additionally, we have very few workers collecting weekly reemployment assistance benefits,” she continued.

Nationwide, seasonally adjusted unemployment was 4.6% in October, down from 6.9% the year before.

Hultman said job openings continue at a record high in South Dakota. “Currently, 27,673 opportunities exist allowing job seekers to advance in their careers or try something new,” she said. “The Department of Labor is focused on helping those not engaged in the workforce to connect with training and employment opportunities to further increase workforce participation.” 

Seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates for counties neighboring Minnehaha reflected a tight local market:

Lincoln 1.9%

Turner 1.9%

McCook 1.9%

Lake 2.2%

Moody 2.1%

Counties with 3% or higher unemployment included Bennett 3.3%, Buffalo 3.1%, Campbell 3.1%, Corson 4.1%, Custer 3.1%, Dewey 4.8%, Fall River 3.0%, Lyman 3.3%, McPherson 3.4%, Mellette 3.1%, Oglala Lakota 6.7%, Roberts 3.0%, Todd 3.6%, Walworth 3.5% and Ziebach 3.9%.

Most of South Dakota’s counties with larger populations were right around the statewide average: Beadle (Huron) 2.2%, Brookings (Brookings) 2.4%, Brown (Aberdeen) 2.4%, Clay (Vermillion) 2.3%, Codington (Watertown) 2.2%, Davison (Mitchell) 2.1%, Hughes (Pierre) 1.8%, Lawrence (Deadwood) 2.3%, Meade (Sturgis) 2.4%, Pennington (Rapid City) 2.5%, Union (North Sioux City) 2.7% and Yankton (Yankton) 2.0%.

The report showed an available labor supply statewide of 48,350 for October spread across three categories.

Unemployed – Don’t have a job, but are actively looking for work: 10,995.

Employed but willing to change jobs – An estimate of those who already have a job but would consider taking a different job meeting the right conditions: 34,635.

Discouraged workers – Don’t have a job but have given up looking for one, believing there are no opportunities: 2,705.

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