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South Dakota Manufacturing Employment Surpasses Pre-Recession Levels

Contact: Jennifer Ratcliff
Manufacturers' News, Inc.
(847) 864-9440 ext. 241
jratcliff [at]

EVANSTON, Ill, March 8th, 2016/Manufacturers' News, Inc./-- 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.”

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, following the establishment of Bel Brand’s massive cheese plant in Brookings. Employment in the industry is expected to climb as New Angus LLC ramps up hiring at their new DemKota Ranch Beef Plant in Aberdeen, as well as Seaboard and Trimph Foods’ planned joint venture to open a new pork processing plant in Sioux City.

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%.

Industrial locations announcing closures in South Dakota included Minnesota Rubber & Plastics, which shuttered its Watertown site, and motorcycle maker Lehman Trikes in Spearfish.

MNI’s regional data shows the state’s Southeast region accounted for the largest share of gains, with jobs up 6.2% to its current level of 28,997 workers. Industrial employment in the state’s Southwest region rose 1.3% to 4,013 jobs, and remained steady in the rest of the state, with the Northeast accounting for 17,714 workers and the Northwest 1,729.

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.

Detailed profiles of all South Dakota manufacturers can be found in the 2016 South Dakota Manufacturers Register® available in print or online. 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, from print directories to online subscriptions. 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. MNI’s traditional print directories are published for each state and include in-depth profiles of every manufacturer in the U.S. For more information, contact Manufacturers' News, Inc. 847-864-7000.
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