Economic optimism makes its way through South Dakota as the nation's economy adds jobs

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - The economy added 164,000 jobs in April, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“In April, unemployment fell to an 18-year low, and wages are up steadily over the past year," said U.S. Senator from South Dakota John Thune in a released statement from his office. "A few months ago, Congress passed historic tax reform, and since then nearly 800,000 jobs have been created, and more than 500 companies have announced pay raises, bonuses, 401(k) match increases, and cuts to utility rates as a result. Employers across the country are experiencing the economic environment they need to grow their businesses and provide more jobs and higher wages. This is good news for hardworking Americans.”

That economic optimism makes its way through the state, too.

According to the South Dakota Employment Report, the state now holds one of the five highest labor force participation rates in the nation when just in December the state hit a 10-year low for the labor force participation rate at 68.9 percent.

Regional Economist at the Black Hills Knowledge Network Dr. Jared McEntaffer says the Rapid City area is rebounding and doing well.

"If we look at the unemployment rate in Rapid City right now, it's 3.3 percent. So for all intents and purposes, it is zero unemployment", said McEntaffer. "In 2017 it was a bit of a slow year with the drought and sort of a mild recession through out South Dakota, but specifically right here right now, looks like our labor market is performing quite well."

The number of unemployed South Dakotans fell by 174 people in March, and in the past year, more than 4,000 South Dakotans found jobs.

McEntaffer also expects wages to go up as well if this trend continues.

There are currently more than 15,000 jobs listed in the state and of those listings more than 2,500 are in the Rapid City area.

To find these listings, go to the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation .