Custer County - Work & Economy
Tourists and retirees have contributed to a substantial growth in Custer County's median income over the last decade, from $36,303 in 2000 to $46,441 in 2009. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the county's total labor force in November 2012 was 4,274, with 230 people or 5.4 percent listed as unemployed. In 2011, approximately one in four workers are employed in the leisure or hospitality industries. Another one in three work for various federal, state or local government agencies. Nearly a third of the county's employed residents commute to another county to work with nearly three in ten commuting more than 30 minutes to get to their jobs. For an in-depth economic profile of Custer County, visit the South Dakota Governor's Office of Economic Development.
Business Activity & Taxable Sales
Taxable sales in Custer County exceeded $5.828 million in January, 2012, according to the South Dakota Department of Revenue. Leading business sectors included: retail trade ($2.6 million), transportation & public utilities ($1.8 million) and services ($1.16 million).
Agriculture, Real Estate and Tourism related activities represent the biggest economic resource in Custer county. The leading employers in Custer County are the Black Hills National Forest, the Custer School District, the South Dakota Star Academy, and Custer County.
Income & Wages
Below is a chart showing the average weekly wages in Custer county over the past decade, as recorded by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These data are recorded quarterly. For a snapshot of the changes in wages (preliminary estimates) over the most recent period, please refer to http://beta.bls.gov/maps/cew/us.
Below is a chart showing an alternate measure of income, the average annual pay in Custer county over the same time period. For more information, please visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Quarterly Census of Employment and Wage program. http://www.bls.gov/cew/
Wages include bonuses, stock options, profit distributions, the cash value of meals and lodging, tips and other gratuities, and, in some states, employer contributions to certain deferred compensation plans such as 401(k) plans.
Gross Domestic Product
Output and growth are determined by intricate relationships between labor and capitol, and thus looking at labor force and business growth over time can give insights into the Black Hills economy. Increases in the labor force may be determined by population or by greater participation in the labor force due to a variety of factors. The combination of new establishments may interact with changes in the labor force to produce varied outcomes across the region. Below is a chart showing the labor force in Custer County over the past decade. The shade of the bars indicates the level of business establishments during that year. The darker the bar, the more businesses exist in the economy. This data has been recorded by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as a part of the Local Area Unemployment Survey. Learn more at http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/dsrv.
The term “establishment” refers to the physical location of a certain economic activity—for example, a factory, mine, store, or office. A single establishment generally produces a single good or provides a single service. An enterprise (a private firm, government, or nonprofit organization) can consist of a single establishment or multiple establishments. All establishments in an enterprise may be classified in one industry (e.g., a chain), or they may be classified in different industries (e.g., a conglomerate).
Low Income Housing -- the Custer County Commission recently passed an ordinance declaring that the county currently has sufficient low income housing to meet the community's needs, including 178 units with rents based on income qualifications. For an overview of the issue, see Jason Ferguson's June 8 article in the Custer County Chronicle.
Agriculture & Resources
For a summary of the results of the latest Agricultural Census for Custer County (2007), please open the attached PDF file.