The main reason the Bureau of Labor Statistics calculate the unemployment rate for each state is to understand and analyze the total number of individuals who are without work. The jobless rate is a way to count the percentage of unemployed workers within the entire labor force. While some economists doubt the efficiency of the jobless rate analyzing the economic situation accurately, others count on it to help follow economic trends and adjust accordingly. For example, if a state continuously has high unemployment rates, then a recession might be declared and extensions granted to beneficiaries of the unemployment insurance program. Also, high unemployment rates would lead to certain business sectors receiving more attention or more budgetary allotments. A low jobless rate is usually praised, especially if it fall below the national average. Yet, there are other factors that can contribute to low unemployment rates without necessarily being a positive thing. Workers leaving the workforce, as an example, may leave for a variety of reasons—abandoning the job search, retirement or going back to school— will lower the unemployment rates simply because these unemployed individuals are no longer counted as part of the labor force.
What is the unemployment rate in South Dakota and how does it stack up to the national average? As of May 2017, the unemployment rate in South Dakota was at 2.9 percent, which is well below the national average of 4.3 percent. The good news is that the unemployment rate in South Dakota has consistently less than 3 percent since last year. Job growth has been relatively steady with almost 10,000 fewer unemployed workers in South Dakota compared to post-recession numbers reaching over 22,000 unemployed.
Despite the unemployment rate in South Dakota being at a continuous low, there are still plenty of individuals who remain unemployed. For those who need temporary assistance, unemployment insurance benefits are available in South Dakota, for qualified unemployed individuals who meet the requirements. Out-of-work residents can also look into reemployment services available for those who have exceptional difficulty gaining employment.