We've moved!

Social Icons

twitterfacebooklinkedinrss feed

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Lake County Unemployment Down from January, up from 2008

Is the unemployment line half full or half empty? Stats from the South Dakota Department of Labor indicate that Lake County had 5.3% unemployment in March. That's down from 5.5% in February and that alarming spike of 7.1% in January. Possible explanations:
Do two months a trend make? Let's hope so. We're just beating the statewide rate of 5.4%. We're hanging in pretty well compared to adjoining counties: Kingsbury, Miner, and Moody Counties are at or above 6%; McCook's at 5.6%; even well-heeled Minnehaha is at 5.1%. But note that Brookings County remains a stubborn bastion of relative prosperity at 3.3%. (John Hess's question still stands: what's university town Brookings doing right that university town Madison can't?)

But let's not get too comfy: consider that we had 355 unemployed workers in the county in March. That's 160 more workers doing without a paycheck than the March 2008 figure of 190 (2.9% unemployment). That's a 160 fewer eager shoppers pumping up the sales tax figures. That's the kind of unemployment that leads to a 60% increase in demand at the food pantry. Send those canned goods... and keep working!


  1. Have you considered that just maybe a bunch of people gave up looking for work?

  2. That was the first thing that popped into my mind, too; however, the numbers show the labor force has actually grown from 6740 in January to 6775 in March, and the number of actual employed people has grown from 6260 in January to 6420 in March. So apparently, there really are more people working in the county. Anyone know where?

  3. Maybe seasonal jobs like the greenhouse east of Madison or places like Lewis and Pamida adding green house staff accounts for some of that. Some people have gotten jobs outside of Madison in Brookings and Sioux Falls.

  4. I think Cory and John Hess need to revisit their unemployment numbers.I read locally where a maijor Brookings employer laid off 74 employees today. So you see it is not only madison that is caught up in this economic slow down.

  5. Revisit the numbers: that's exactly what I was doing going to the official state statistics. The April numbers, to be released May 20, should reflect the layoffs at Rainbow. There will likely be other changes affecting the final numbers, but if we add those 74 layoffs to the March numbers for Brookings, their total unemployment rate would still be 3.8%, well below Madison's and the state's rates. Sure, the recession is hard on everyone, but Brookings still appears to have some job mojo that Mr. Chapel hasn't brought with him on his daily commute to the LAIC office yet.

  6. I am looking at the department of labor numbers. Jan. 2007, 3.6%, Jan. 2008, 3.3%, Jan. 2009, 7.1%, March 2009 5.3%. Take into account Gehl, Rosebud, Rapidair all had layoffs the Jan. 2009 was bound to spike. Can you blame this on the L.A.I.C.? I don't think so. You need to blame it on the downturn in the econmy.

  7. No, you can't simply blame the LAIC for those numbers, but you can ask how successful they have been at bringing in new employers in the last few years, and if they have met a reasonable expectation. If not, then ask what they should do differently. The MDL reported a few months back that Brookings was turning employer inquiries away. Why are things so different for them? We have a lot of positive things going for us, so it's hard to comprehend why we couldn't fill the tech center and bring in two or three quality employers in the last few years (not counting the recent announcement). Those were the good times. That was a growth period. Just today someone told me her husband is giving up on Madison to look for work in Sioux Falls and is willing to commute for the higher salary, not that he wants to. That's a bummer. John Hess

  8. It was also just a few years ago when new companies were shying away from madison. Unemployment was low and when they polled to see if there were enough workers to fill positions the answer was no. I wish those companies would visit Madison again. They would not have a problem filling those jobs now. Again, its a thing called economic slowdown.

  9. I suppose it depends on how many workers they need and if that employment is a step up in the area. Especially on this point Myron Downs was right that we should try and attract small employers of 10 to 15 people.


Comments are closed, as this portion of the Madville Times is in archive mode. You can join the discussion of current issues at MadvilleTimes.com.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.