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Friday, May 28, 2010

Madison Puts People to Work: Unemployment Down Full Percentage Point

Thank goodness for planting season: the latest data from the South Dakota Department of Labor shows unemployment in Lake County dropped a full percentage point in April, from 5.7% to 4.7%. That outpaces the statewide drop of 0.8 percentage points. 50 more people jumped in the labor pool, but we added 110 jobs. Do that eight more months in a row, and the LAIC will meet its Forward Madison job creation goals.

Shameless rumormongering: Could more jobs be coming to downtown Madison? Before our water quality meeting last night, Mayor Hexom told some folks that our alley renovation project would be coupled with some significant Main Street development to be announced next week. Did I mis-hear? Are we finally restoring the Masonic Temple? Are we joining the national Main Street Program? Did the alley crew strike oil and invite Hyperion to start a new Gorilla project? Someone in the know, chime in!
The job picture brightened in Brookings, too, where countywide unemployment dropped from March's 4.3% to April's 3.5. 190 more people started looking for work, and 335 new jobs appeared.

The rest of our neighbors saw good jobs news, too:
  • Kingsbury: unemployment down 1.3 percentage points to 5.2%
  • McCook: down 1.6 to 4.6%
  • Miner: down 1.4 to 4.4%
  • Minnehaha: down 0.9 to 4.6%
  • Moody: down 1.7 to 5.4%
Every major South Dakota city saw improvement, with Watertown posting the biggest unemployment drop of 1.2 percentage points, down to 5.0% in April.

Now remember, April had spectacular weather, so we were able to get a lot of construction and farm work done. Let's hope May is keeping workers busy as well.

But watch out: if people keep getting jobs and the economy starts humming along again, what will happen to all that anti-incumbent sentiment Rod mentioned earlier today?


  1. I'm intrigued, I'm hopeful, maybe the heartland property has some legs here.

  2. While it's a good thing more people are employed, do we know they are working in Lake County? It's labeled Labor Force and Employment, but Employment doesn't indicate how many jobs Lake County is providing.

  3. Correction on my comment, intended to say the rosebud, same difference.

    Maybe the Wenks property will be developed yet this summer, that would be a welcomed change for sure, and a real difference for downtown.

    Or better yet, maybe they've taken our advice, and are planning a massive community summitt, while announcing a new community slogan, adopting the Main Street program, extending the green space down Egan, encouraging Ted to continue planting more trees, and developing a targeted strategy to do all of this, next week.

    Or they could be changing some light-bulbs, or dusting, something more mundane.

    Madison is...mundane? Let's hope not!

  4. Gehl Company has been filling orders, bringing back employees and many of them are now working overtime again to meet demand for orders. Integra has been hiring, Custom Touch Homes is growing and there are clear signs that the manufacturing side of our economy is trying to come back. We'll see Rosebud grow as the housing and multiple housing/motel growth takes off. While manufacturing has been a backbone of our employment, hopefully we learn that regardless of economic conditions, service businesses like call and redemption centers strive.


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