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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Lake County Unemployment Drops to 4.3%

Is the stimulus working? We can debate that.

But more Lake County residents are definitely working! The latest figures from the South Dakota Department of Labor show Lake County's unemployment rate dropping a whopping seven tenths of a percentage point, from 5.0% in August to 4.3% in September. That number is straight-up good any way you slice it: 75 people joined our workforce (now at 6,590), and 120 new jobs got filled (total jobs now 6,310). That means the number of unemployed folks dropped from 325 to 280.

Our neighbors in Brookings County fared just a tick better, with September unemployment dropping from 4.2% to 3.4%, with gains in both labor force and jobs.

Around the septa-county neighborhood, the unemployment rate dropped for everyone but Miner County, where unemployment stayed steady at 5.2%. Elsewhere:
  • Kingsbury County: 4.4%, down from 4.9% in August, but labor force and jobs both shrank.
  • McCook: 4.3%, down from 4.7% in August, labor force down five, jobs up five.
  • Minnehaha: 4.2%, down from 4.5% in August, fewer workers, more jobs.
  • Moody: 5.7%, down from 8.7% in August, fewer workers, more jobs.
And in our ongoing tracking of the big Forward Madison job creation metric of sustaining the expected job growth of the status quo, we are now have only 375 fewer jobs than when the Lake Area Improvement Corporation started its big job creation push in October, 2006. We need to create just 775 jobs over the next fourteen months to meet the Forward Madison goal of creating 400 new jobs. Work harder, Boxer!

Bonus Local Stat: Taxable sales in Lake County in August increased 6.9% over last year. What recession?


  1. Any way you slice it? The May employment numbers were 6,740 with a 4.7% unemployment rate. Now they're 6,590 at 4.3%. So did we loose residents and/or job seekers? With the way they track unemployment it is difficult to say, but I've never seen so many houses for rent in the newspaper so call me skeptical, at least for the time being.

  2. Oops... except for that slice. Good perspective, John! Always pay attention to the trend.

  3. I may be a small picture guy but where did the new jobs come from?

  4. That, Frank, is a very good question. September didn't seem like a good farming month, but would there have been any seasonal ag jobs kicking in? DSU got back into session, so we may have some more jobs on campus (too bad these numbers don't tell us how many of the jobs are full time or pay benefits or have wages above minimum). Other guesses?

  5. I've been told a couple times now that Gehl is at about 240 compared to its high of over 400. That difference alone will make a significant difference in housing, retail, schools. Lower population numbers too that may not rebound without more jobs although DSU is at a high of over 3,100.


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