Metro Area Unemployment Rate at 3.4 percent in August, 2013
As is typical in the region, the unemployment rate began to drop as summer construction and tourism jobs increased. The jobless rate in the Rapid City metropolitan area fell to 3.4 percent in August, 2013. The total number of unemployed (2,400) in August dropped from 2,700 in June. Total employment and the size of the civilian labor force is still down from a August, 2012 high of 70,200 to 68,700. According to the provisional numbers, over the last twelve months the leading growth sectors for employment are: Leisure and Hospitality, up 6.5 percent since August, 2012, and Education and Health Services, up 2.9 percent. Declining sectors include Mining, Logging and Construction, which was down 2.2 percent over the previous twelve months. For more details and an overview of the economy in the Rapid City Metropolitan Statistical Area (Pennington and Meade counties), visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Updated November 16, 2013)
For more county level unemployment statistics check out an interactive database provided by the South Dakota Department of Labor Statistics. For a better visual representation of the county level unemployment rates check out this interactive map on the Washington Post. Another data visualization map shows how South Dakota's unemployment currently compares to the rest of the country.
Employment by Sector
Federal employees accounted for 2.6 percent of employment in South Dakota in 2013, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This included 10,900 employees, out of 426,200 people working in the state. The largest number of these federal workers (2,178) were working for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Another 1,597 were employed by the Department of the Interior, while 1,513 worked for the Department of Health and Human Services. The Department of Agriculture, the Air Force and the Army also had significant numbers of employees. Governing magazine provides an interactive, state-by-state data visualization on federal employment here.
Specialty trades, mechanics, sales reps (non retail), truck drivers, first line supervisors, welders, accounting and finance, nursing, information technology, teachers, and engineers are - and are projected to continue to be - in high demand across the state. The SD Department of Labor and Regulation also predicts that these occupations will be some of the highest paying in the state by the year 2020. Click here to learn more about industry opportunities.