Butte County - Work & Economy
A healthy agricultural economy has contributed to substantial growth in Butte County's median income over the last decade, from $29,040 in 2000 to $38,015 in 2009. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the county's total labor force in November 2012 was 5,289, with 254 people or 4.8 percent listed as unemployed. In 2011, approximately one in four workers were employed in the trade, transportation and utilities sector. Another one in four work for various federal, state or local government agencies. Nearly three of ten employed residents commute to another county to work in another county. For an in-depth economic profile of Butte County, visit the South Dakota Governor's Office of Economic Development.
Business Activity & Taxable Sales
Taxable sales in Butte County exceeded $10.564 million in January, 2012, according to the South Dakota Department of Revenue.
According to the U.S. Census, 14.2 percent live below the poverty line, almost exactly the national average. While 88 percent of county residents have graduated from high school, only 18 percent who are older than 25 have a college degree.
Income & Wages
Personal incomes in Butte County declined 1.2 percent from 2008 to 2009, but this drop was not as great as for the state or the nation as a whole. At $30,063, Butte County's per capita personal income ranked 56th among the state's 66 counties and was 78 percent of the state average of $38,374. Over a ten-year period, however, incomes in Butte County have grown at a rate of 4.5 percent per year (equal to average annual growth rate for the state) and have exceeded the national growth rate of 3.4 percent.
Components of Personal Income in Butte County Compared to State and Nation
See chart at: http://www.bea.gov/regional/bearfacts/action.cfm
Agriculture & Resources
Butte County produced more sheep and lambs than any other county in South Dakota in 2007. More than 84 percent of the county's 1.14 million acres of agricultural land were devoted to pasture to feed nearly 106,000 sheep and cattle, as well as 2,399 horses and ponies.
The average farm or ranch was 1,953 acres and its produce netted $94,936 on the market. Farmers and ranchers also received, on average, $9,352 in government payments related to agricultural production.
Despite the importance of agriculture to the county's economy, the amount of land used for agriculture declined by ten percent between 2002 and 2007 while the number of farms and ranches dropped by nine percent.
For more information on Butte County's agriculture, see the profile created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture from the 2007 Agricultural Census.