3 Cities to Watch
Source: U. S. Department of Labor
’09 ’08 ’ 11’ 12 ’ 10 ’ 13’ 14 ’ 16 ’ 15 Dec.
South Dakota U.S.
Neil Pierson is editor of Scotsman Guide Commercial Edition.
Reach him at (800) 297-6061 or email@example.com.
South Dakota’s year-over-year unemployment rate increased from 2.9 percent to 3. 5 percent this past December, although the latest figure is below
the national rate of 4.1 percent. The state’s largest employment sectors are
trade, transportation and utilities; government; and education and health
services. Manufacturing was the state’s fastest-growing employment sector this past December, with the job count rising by 3. 4 percent year over
year to nearly 43,000 jobs, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
The state expects to increase its nonfarm workforce by 7. 3 percent by 2024,
the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation reported. Four employment sectors — professional, scientific and technical services; wholesale trade; health care and social assistance; and accommodation and food
services — are projected to record double-digit growth during that time
span. Demand for distribution centers should fuel growth in the state’s relatively small warehouse and storage industry as well, which is projected
to see employment grow by more than 20 percent by 2024.
Farming is a way of life in the Mount Rushmore State. Agriculture contributes about $25 billion to the economy each year, according to the South
Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA). The state has 19 million acres
devoted to crops and another 23 million for pastures, and the ag sector
employs more than 115,000 people statewide.
Milk production jumped 64 percent from 2005 to 2015, far outpacing
growth in other key dairy-producing states like Idaho, Wisconsin and
New Mexico, according to a study commissioned by SDDA. Bel Brands
USA, Dean Foods, Land O’Lakes and Saputo are some of the state’s major
With a diverse economy that includes biomedical, finance, manufacturing and food-processing companies, Sioux Falls has consistently ranked
near the top of Forbes’ annual list of the best small places for business
and careers. According to the Sioux Falls Development Foundation,
there are 13 companies with more than 1,000 employers, including San-ford Health, Smithfield Foods and Wells Fargo. The cost of living is 6 percent lower than the national average and the metro area’s population
growth from 2000 to 2013 nearly quadrupled the national average, the
Along with Mount Rushmore, some of the outdoor attractions within
close driving distance of Rapid City include Badlands National Park,
Custer State Park and the Crazy Horse Memorial. Major employers include Regional Health, Ellsworth Air Force Base, Ditech Financial and
Black Hills Energy. The average sales price of a home is $180,000, and
there is a mixture of newer, modern neighborhoods and Victorian-era
homes with easy access to retail and commercial centers.
Located 200 miles northeast of Sioux Falls, Aberdeen is the state’s
third-largest city, with about 28,000 residents, and it is a family-friendly
city. Wylie Park features the nursery-rhyme-inspired Storybook Land
and a “Wizard of Oz” tornado simulation. Aberdeen’s median home
price is $155,000 and the average commute time is less than 13 minutes.
Avera Health employs 1,500 people, and the 3M manufacturing plant
employs 650. The city also touts a number of business incentives,
including lower property taxes for industrial development and help
with startup costs for downtown retailers.
Sources: Aberdeen Convention & Visitors Bureau, Aberdeen Development Corp.,
Avera Health, Forbes, National Park Service, Rapid City Area Chamber of Commerce,
Rushmore Region Economic Development Alliance, Sioux Falls Development
Foundation, South Dakota Department of Agriculture, South Dakota Department of
Labor and Regulation, South Dakota Department of Tourism, South Dakota Governor’s
Office of Economic Development, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Tippmann Innovation,
U. S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.