South Dakota Manufacturing Employment Surpasses Pre-Recession Levels

March 8, 2016

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EVANSTON, IL–(Marketwired – March 08, 2016) – South Dakota manufacturing employment climbed for a fifth straight year, with factory jobs now surpassing pre-recession levels, reports the 2016 South Dakota Manufacturers Register®, an industrial database and directory published by Manufacturers’ News, Inc. (MNI) Evanston, IL. According to MNI’s database of manufacturers, South Dakota gained 1,699 manufacturing jobs from December 2014 to December 2015, a 3% gain.

South Dakota is now home to 1,330 manufacturers employing 52,453 workers. MNI reports industrial employment plunged 10% from 2007-2010, but the state has so far added 6,391 industrial jobs or 14% since December 2010, recovering all jobs lost during the recession.

“South Dakota has wide-ranging appeal for manufacturers, ranging from its favorable business environment to its abundant natural resources, and is one of the only states in the nation to have completely recovered from the recession in terms of manufacturing employment,” says Tom Dubin, President of the Evanston, IL-based publishing company, which has been surveying industry since 1912. “However, like much of the nation, South Dakota manufacturers struggle to find skilled workers.”

For the full report, including a regional analysis, click here or visit

MNI reports South Dakota’s top industries all posted gains over the survey period. Food processing, the state’s largest sector by employment, climbed 3.1% over the year to 10,756 jobs. Second-ranked industrial machinery posted a 2.7% increase, now employing 7,742, while employment in third-ranked fabricated metals manufacturing rose 5.5% to 4,355 jobs.

MNI recorded employment gains for most other South Dakota industries, including primary metals, up 9.6%; transportation equipment, up 8.5%; chemicals, up 5.1%; and lumber/wood, up 2.2%. 

Only two South Dakota industries suffered decreases in employment: stone/clay/glass, which declined 5%, and printing/publishing, down 1.8%.

City data collected by MNI shows Sioux Falls is South Dakota’s top city by manufacturing employment, accounting for 13,439 of the state’s industrial jobs, up 8.2% in 2015. Second-ranked Brookings added 5% to its industrial workforce, which now numbers 4,680. Factory employment in Watertown remained steady at 3,754, but fell 2.4% in Rapid City to 3,483 jobs. Fifth-ranked Yankton accounts for 3,181 of the state’s manufacturing jobs, 4.8% more than a year ago.

Established in 1912, Manufacturers’ News, Inc. is the nation’s oldest and largest publisher of industrial information. MNI offers a variety of tailored solutions to help customers connect with 430,000 manufacturers and suppliers. MNI’s industrial database subscription service EZ Select ( allows users to tap into a live interactive database of manufacturers, while its industrial search engine IndustryNet ( connects buyers and suppliers and allows users to view profiles and obtain competitive quotes. For more information, contact Manufacturers’ News, Inc. 847-864-7000. or follow MNI on Twitter:

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Category: General