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Pine Ridge Indian Reservation - Work & Economy Black Hill Knowledge Network photo/Chelsea Gortmaker

Pine Ridge Indian Reservation - Work & Economy

Agriculture & Resources

There were 174 farms in Shannon County totaling 1,101,176 acres according to the 2012 U.S. Department of Agriculture Census. The average farm or ranch was 6,329 acres. The number of farms engaged in cattle production was 123. Between 2007 and 2012, the number of farms devoted to agriculture decreased by 30 percent. The market value of agricultural products sold in the county rose 63 percent, to $32,288,000 from $19,803,000 in 2007. Livestock accounted for 73 percent of all sales. Eighty-seven percent of farmland was devoted to pasture in Shannon County. The amount of government payments farms received totaled $1,722,000, up by 44 percent since 2007. The average principal operator of a farm was 58 years old and was most likely male and Native American. Twenty six women were principal operators of farms. Shannon County was ranked 7th for horse and pony production in the state and 12th for bison production. 

For more information on agriculture in Shannon County, see the county profile at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website. Explore more information at and Rural Life and Census Data at SDSU, Brookings, SD.


Shannon County had a civilian labor force of 3,910 people in November 2012, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of this total, 531 people, or 13.6 percent, were identified as unemployed. In 2009, more than 85 percent of workers with jobs were employed by government. For an in-depth economic profile of Shannon County, visit the South Dakota Governor's Office of Economic Development.

The chart below shows the unemployment rate over the past decade for Shannon county, along with a line showing the average during this time, as recorded by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Unemployment on Pine Ridge is 33.40 percent, compared to the state as a whole, which is 3.8 percent.

The median household income on the Pine Ridge reservation is $20,568, while 29 percent of the population of the reservation earns less than $10,000 a year.

The primary occupation of both men and women on the Pine Ridge reservation falls under management, professional and related occupations. 

The Pine Ridge Area Chamber of Commerce, located in Kyle, works to support and encourage business to the community.

The chamber of commerce created an online mall that lists area businesses.




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