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South Dakota Incomes on the Rise

PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota received good news today about personal income in the state.

First, the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) announced today that South Dakota leads the nation in income growth. South Dakota’s total and per capita personal incomes rose faster than any state in the nation from 2010 to 2011, going up 12.8 percent and 11.8 percent, respectively.

“These numbers confirm the resiliency and growth of our state’s economy,” said Pat Costello, commissioner, Governor’s Office of Economic Development. “All South Dakota industries experienced income growth from 2010 to 2011.”

The state also received good news from a two-year wage study produced by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development that showed when adjusted for payroll taxes and cost of living, occupational wages in South Dakota, on average, rank 26th nationally. The study was based on data from the U.S. Department of Labor.

“The results of this study prove what many of us have known for years: You don’t have to sacrifice your earning power to live, work and play in the greatest state in the nation,” Costello said. “The long-standing belief that South Dakota is a low-wage state is misleading. We as a state can and do compete in offering jobs that pay living wages.”

In addition to the GOED study, the BEA report included analyses of personal income, using varying methodologies. In that study, South Dakota ranked 50th in average wages and salaries for employees. When all personal income is included, such as that of self-employed farmers and small business owners, South Dakota’s ranking increases to 37th.

“There are a variety of methodologies that generate different results, but the overall message is clear,” said Costello. “South Dakota’s economy continues to out-perform many other states, and our economic foundation of agriculture and small business is leading the way.”

An executive summary of the wage study and all the data tables are currently available on the GOED website www.sdreadytowork.com com in pdf form. An online searchable database is in development that will allow people to search the data by state and occupation.

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