Community Profile

Northeast South Dakota

From Beauty to Business

Business and pleasure are common place in South Dakota. In addition to our state’s stellar tax climate, South Dakotans enjoy the second-shortest commute time in the nation (16.3 minutes), limitless recreation opportunities, one of the lowest crime rates in the nation, high-quality schools and health care systems.

 Area Labor Supply = 20,265
Population = 229,804

Education Levels
No High School diploma17%
High School Graduates35%
Some College, no Degree21.2%
Associate Degree6.8%
Bachelor Degree14.7%
Graduate Degree5.3%

Commuting Time of 30 minutes or less = 87% of workforce
Unemployment = 3.5% as of October 2011
Poverty Rate = 15.1%
Median Household Income = $42,142
Outmigration Rate (2000-2010) = -8.27%


Total Population


Growth Rate


Median Age


Diversity Index


Quality of LIfe

This part of the nation has long been known as “one of the best kept secrets” with the glacial lakes, rolling hills, grasslands, and agriculture dotted with small communities. The quiet, rural quality of life and strong work ethic is what keeps people here and drives people back to their roots. Thanks to an abundance of natural resources and manufacturing opportunities, unemployment in northeast South Dakota is very low.


Many communities have established housing authorities, nonprofit housing organizations, local economic development groups and realtors who assist with local housing options. There are 96,622 households in the region. Seventy-four percent of the households are single family homes; 10% are manufactured housing; and 16% of housing units are multi-family. Across the area, an estimated 69.4% of households owned their home between 2005-2009. The average size of a household in this area ranged from 2.03 to 3.98 between 2005-2009


The 30-county northeast region is host to 16 of 60 South Dakota State Park facilities providing programs, camping, outdoor sports, breathtaking scenery, abundant wildlife, historical culture, and exciting geological wonders.


South Dakota ranks ninth in the nation with an 85.5% graduation rate. South Dakota has154 operating schools and rural community schools make up 76.9% of total schools in the state. Our rural schools are community hubs and experience closer ties among teachers, parents, and students, fostering a supportive academic environment. A Student-to-Teacher ratio of 13:4 to 1 also helps to spur academic success for our students. This academic support is proved by South Dakota’s 2010 average composite ACT score of 21.8, which tops the national average of 21.1. State scores also have been consistently higher than the national average over the last five years. Eighty-one percent of South Dakota’s 2011 graduates took the ACT, up from 79 percent of 2010 graduates. According to ACT’s data, students who report taking “core” curriculum, which is defined as four years of English and three years each of math, social studies and science, consistently outperform their peers in meeting the college readiness benchmarks. South Dakota’s graduation requirements have every student taking a minimum of three science and three math units – preferably upper-level courses. Many of our rural students are connected to upper level courses through online learning and new technology connecting them to distance learning. South Dakota’s rural schools often provide every high school student with laptop computers to utilize the flexibility and convenience of using technology in all classrooms.

Housing & Income



Total Housing Units


Owner Occupied


Renter Occupied




Median Home Value


Average Home Value


Growth Rate

Household Income


Per Capita Income


Income Projection

Median Household

$61,370 $70,077

Average Household

$84,388 $95,621

Per Capita

$33,675 $38,128


Total Businesses


Total Employed


Workers 16+


HealthCare/Social Assist






Retail Trade Businesses






Manufacturing Businesses






Accommodation/Food Service






Educational Services - Businesses






Finance/Insurance Businesses






High School


High School








Average Commute Time

0 min.

Resident Commuters


Non-Resident Commuters


Drive Alone






Work At Home


Occupational Employment Projections

South Dakota Employment Projections for Occupations with Higher-than-Average Projected Demand
2008 - 2018

SOC* CodeOccupational Title2008 Base Number of Jobs2018 Projected Number of JobsActual ChangePercent ChangeAverage Annual Demand for Workers
00-0000Total, All Occupations468,635510,00041,3658.8%15,167
41-2031Retail Salespersons14,84516,4301,58510.7%572
35-3031Waiters and Waitresses7,9158,79087511.1%524
43-4051Customer Service Representatives9,24011,0151,77519.2%469
29-1111Registered Nurses10,49012,6502,16020.6%399
35-3021Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, including Fast Food7,0458,3201,27518.1%276
53-7062Laborers and Freight, Stock and Material Movers, Hand7,2557,4752203.0%256
35-3022Counter Attendants, Cafeteria, Food Concession and Coffee Shop2,9103,1252157.4%236
37-2011Janitors and Cleaners, except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners9,4259,9054805.1%226
53-3032Truck Drivers, Heavy and Tractor-Trailer8,2809,0507709.3%225
43-3031Bookkeeping, Accounting and Auditing Clerks9,85510,8259709.8%215
39-9011Child Care Workers6,2406,5052654.2%210
43-4171Receptionists and Information Clerks5,1605,68552510.2%191
35-2021Food Preparation Workers4,3704,6803107.1%187
11-9012Farmers and Ranchers23,30023,5652651.1%170
51-2092Team Assemblers3,4554,19073521.3%152
13-2011Accountants and Auditors4,1554,91075518.2%146
41-4012Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, except Technical and Scientific Products4,1354,62048511.7%145
31-1012Nursing Aides, Orderlies and Attendants6,3657,17581012.7%144
43-5081Stock Clerks and Order Fillers5,1255,3852605.1%144
25-9041Teacher Assistants5,3555,6202654.9%140
25-2021Elementary School Teachers, except Special Education4,6954,9302355.0%131
37-2012Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners5,6355,8952604.6%127
25-2031Secondary School Teachers, except Special and Vocational Education3,6753,8351604.4%123
43-4081Hotel, Motel and Resort Desk Clerks2,0202,52550525.0%119
35-9011Dining Room and Cafeteria Attendants and Bartender Helpers2,0652,2702059.9%111
51-4121Welders, Cutters, Solderers and Brazers2,2002,61541518.9%109
43-9061Office Clerks, General4,6055,0554509.8%108
45-2093Farmworkers, Farm and Ranch Animals4,0003,950-50-1.3%108
39-9041Residential Advisors2,0302,33030014.8%102
41-1011First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Retail Sales Workers4,0004,1451453.6%101
43-6014Secretaries, except Legal, Medical and Executive6,4156,5251101.7%97
35-2012Cooks, Institution and Cafeteria2,4352,76032513.3%95
29-2061Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses2,0752,35528013.5%93
11-1021General and Operations Managers3,1553,135-20-0.6%92
41-3021Insurance Sales Agents2,7403,0052659.7%91
35-2011Cooks, Fast Food2,2102,4252159.7%79
43-1011First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Office and Administrative Support Workers2,7002,8651656.1%78
43-3011Bill and Account Collectors4,0653,730-335-8.2%77
47-2061Construction Laborers2,7303,32059021.6%77
35-2014Cooks, Restaurant1,9252,18526013.5%75
39-9021Personal and Home Care Aides1,6352,15051531.5%72
41-2022Parts Salespersons1,5801,7301509.5%71
43-6011Executive Secretaries and Administrative Assistants3,0903,3752859.2%71
49-3023Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics2,6002,8102108.1%71
49-9042Maintenance and Repair Workers, General2,5402,86032012.6%71
41-4011Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Technical and Scientific Products1,8102,08027014.9%69
35-9031Hosts and Hostesses, Restaurant, Lounge and Coffee Shop82092010012.2%67
15-1041Computer Support Specialists1,8902,0201306.9%65
29-2052Pharmacy Technicians1,1501,51536531.7%65
39-3091Amusement and Recreation Attendants1,0751,160857.9%65
53-3033Truck Drivers, Light or Delivery Services2,5102,6951857.4%63
37-3011Landscaping and Groundskeeping Workers2,1902,55036016.4%62
45-2092Farmworkers and Laborers, Crop, Nursery and Greenhouse2,2352,225-10-0.4%60
43-4131Loan Interviewers and Clerks2,3402,265-75-3.2%58
47-1011First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Construction Trades and Extraction Workers1,8502,05520511.1%56
47-2051Cement Masons and Concrete Finishers1,3001,51521516.5%55
13-1111Management Analysts1,9902,1851959.8%54
33-3051Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers1,6401,7601207.3%54
25-2022Middle School Teachers, except Special and Vocational Education1,8801,975955.1%53
47-2073Operating Engineers and Other Construction Equipment Operators2,0402,2151758.6%53
21-1021Child, Family and School Social Workers1,3351,49516012.0%50
53-7061Cleaners of Vehicles and Equipment1,1951,250554.6%49
33-9032Security Guards1,1751,40523019.6%47
53-7051Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators1,1351,27013511.9%47
53-7064Packers and Packagers, Hand2,7652,635-130-4.7%46
43-3021Billing and Posting Clerks and Machine Operators1,5701,76019012.1%45
41-2021Counter and Rental Clerks1,3151,400856.5%44
47-4051Highway Maintenance Workers1,3801,450705.1%44
15-1081Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts8001,09029036.3%43
51-9121Coating, Painting and Spraying Machine Setters, Operators and Tenders8401,05521525.6%43
27-3031Public Relations Specialists9751,15017517.9%41
51-2022Electrical and Electronic Equipment Assemblers1,4501,62517512.1%40
21-1093Social and Human Service Assistants8651,07521024.3%39
35-1012First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Food Preparation and Serving Workers2,1152,3001858.7%39
15-1071Network and Computer Systems Administrators1,2801,45017013.3%38
29-2071Medical Records and Health Information Technicians1,0801,23515514.4%38
31-1011Home Health Aides1,1101,37026023.4%37
49-1011First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Mechanics, Installers and Repairers1,0501,135858.1%37
53-3031Driver/Sales Workers1,5401,625855.5%37
25-2011Preschool Teachers, except Special Education8851,06518020.3%36
49-3031Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists1,0901,1901009.2%35
31-9091Dental Assistants8251,00518021.8%34
47-2152Plumbers, Pipefitters and Steamfitters1,3101,390806.1%34
49-9051Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers795855607.5%34
51-1011First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Production and Operating Workers1,4251,57515010.5%34
53-3022Bus Drivers, School1,4651,550855.8%34
25-4031Library Technicians655690355.3%32
33-3012Correctional Officers and Jailers1,2751,315403.1%32
49-9021Heating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers8601,04018020.9%32
13-1023Purchasing Agents, except Wholesale, Retail and Farm Products67080013019.4%31
31-9092Medical Assistants8651,07020523.7%31
39-9031Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors75092017022.7%31
43-5052Postal Service Mail Carriers98598500.0%31
43-4111Interviewers, except Eligibility and Loan58074516528.4%30
13-1051Cost Estimators58575016528.2%29
13-1071Employment, Recruitment and Placement Specialists60072512520.8%29
29-2041Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics81594012515.3%29
35-2015Cooks, Short Order9951,030353.5%29
39-3011Gaming Dealers43054511526.7%29
13-1041Compliance Officers, except Agriculture, Construction, Health and Safety and Transportation9401,12518519.7%28
29-2034Radiologic Technologists and Technicians9951,13013513.6%28
33-9092Lifeguards, Ski Patrol and Other Recreational Protective Service Workers365395308.2%28
43-4031Court, Municipal and License Clerks840880404.8%28
51-8031Water and Liquid Waste Treatment Plant and System Operators72084512517.4%28
39-5012Hairdressers, Hairstylists and Cosmetologists1,7301,750201.2%27
41-1012First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Non-Retail Sales Workers1,0101,075656.4%27
49-9041Industrial Machinery Mechanics80596015519.3%27
15-1031Computer Software Engineers, Applications67587019528.9%26
41-3031Securities, Commodities and Financial Services Sales Agents770790202.6%26
43-9041Insurance Claims and Policy Processing Clerks1,3001,390906.9%26
49-3041Farm Equipment Mechanics1,1101,165555.0%26
53-6031Service Station Attendants550580305.5%26

 *SOC - Standard Occupational Classification, 2000
Click here for descriptions of SOC occupations by code (2000 version).

Notes: Data for occupations with less than 20 jobs in 2008 not included.
Numer of jobs data for 2008 and 2008 rounded to nearest five.

Data presented for occupations will not sum to totals due to rounding and non-publishable data for additional occupations included in totals. Demand data is the summation of job openings estimated due to projected employment growth and job openings projected to be created due to replacement need of current workers. Replacement need is estimated by multiplying occupational employment estimates by national replacement rates supplied by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). These rates estimate the number of job openings, by occupation, which will be attributed to a worker permanently leaving an occupation (e.g. retirement, death, exits the workforce, etc. ). Average annual demand data are calculated by dividing by ten, the number of years in the projection period. Occupations included on the above list have average annual demand greater than 26, the average annual demand across all occupations. Click here for more information on employment projections.

Source:Labor Market Information Center, SD Department of Labor, December 2010.

Wages (Salary)

2011 Wages & Earnings - South Dakota Wages by Hiring Preference Levels*

Hiring PreferenceAverage Annual SalaryAverage Hourly Wage
Short Term On-the-Job Training$22,417$10.78
Moderate Term On-the-Job Training$30,738$14.78
Work Experience$35,984$17.30
Postsecondary Education and Work Experience or Long-Term On-the-Job Training$39,556$19.02
Postsecondary Education at less than the Associate Level$29,439$14.15
Associate Degree$43,384$20.86
Bachelor's Degree$47,581$22.88
Bachelor's Degree and Work Experience$85,155$40.94
Master's Degree$57,260$27.53
Doctoral Degree$67,956$32.67
First Professional Degree$126,655$60.89

Source: South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation, Labor Market Information Center, September 2011 using May 2010 wage data aged through first quarter 2011.


Explanations of Hiring Preference Categories
Short-term on-the-job training = Workers can generally achieve average job performance after a short demonstration or up to one month of on-the-job experience and instruction.
Moderate-term on-the-job training = Workers can generally achieve average job performance after one to 12 months of combined on-the-job experience and informal training, including skills learned by observing experienced workers.
Work experience = Workers can generally achieve average job performance through work experience in the field.
Postsecondary education or combination of long-term on-the-job training & work experience = Workers generally need postsecondary education or a combination of work experience and more than 12 months of on-the-job training to achieve average job performance.
Postsecondary education at less than the associate degree level = Workers can generally achieve average job performance after completion of technical or vocational education ranging in length from a few weeks to more than a year but less than the associate degree level.
Associate degree = Workers can generally achieve average job performance after completing a postsecondary education program granting an associate degree and usually involving about two years of full-time equivalent academic work, but less than four years.
Bachelor's degree = Workers can generally achieve average job performance after completing a postsecondary education program granting a bachelor's degree and usually involving four years but not more than five years of full-time equivalent academic work.
Bachelor's degree & work experience = Workers can generally achieve average job performance after completing a postsecondary education program granting a bachelor's degree, plus work experience in the field.
Master's degree = Workers can generally achieve average job performance after completing a postsecondary education program granting a master's degree and usually involving one or two years of full-time equivalent academic work beyond the bachelor's level.
Doctoral Degree = Workers can generally achieve average job performance after completing a postsecondary education program granting a doctoral degree and usually involving at least three years of equivalent academic work beyond the bachelor's degree.
First professional degree = Workers can generally achieve average job performance after completing a postsecondary education program granting a professional degree and usually involving at least six years of full-time equivalent academic study, including college study prior to entering the professional degree program. 
See technical notes about hiring preference levels for more information.

Wages (Payroll)

2010 Covered Data

IndustryEstablishmentsWorkersAnnual PayPayroll
-Accommodation/Food Services 5637844$142,155.00$86,542,028.00
-Admin/Supp/Waste Mgmt Remediation Serv *3332458$352,686.00$67,286,007.00
-Agriculture/Forestry/Fishing/Hunting  *1921176$482,129.00$37,325,871.00
-Arts/Entertainment/Recreation 152974$141,054.00$11,697,964.00
Construction 20369156$1,577,416.00$340,543,370.00
Education/Health Services 65812051$589,554.00$400,082,532.00
-Educational Services  *34459$101,962.00$13,157,086.00
-Federal Government 2972268$978,017.00$127,790,994.00
-Finance/Insurance  *4823681$646,178.00$165,543,071.00
Financial Activities 7934730$809,200.00$193,820,971.00
-Health Care/Social Assistance 4548650$346,406.00$301,154,258.00
Leisure/Hospitality Services 8029384$229,757.00$105,528,769.00
-Local Government 29712175$569,756.00$337,371,986.00
-Management Of Companies/Enterprises 29414$315,079.00$27,371,811.00
-Mining  *853$73,214.00$1,955,560.00
Natural Resources/Mining 3092269$696,593.00$75,946,283.00
Other Services    5912604$463,663.00$63,409,252.00
-Other Services/Exc Public Admin 5912604$463,663.00$63,409,252.00
Professional/Business Services 8975095$648,394.00$177,916,489.00
-Professional/Scientific/Technical Serv  *5062165$660,261.00$81,569,052.00
-Real Estate/Rental/Leasing  *242923$202,589.00$16,150,357.00
-Retail Trade 111212628$455,383.00$278,424,601.00
-State Government 3047180$750,513.00$298,292,988.00
Total Government 89821618$648,560.00$763,455,968.00
Total Private Ownership 767475793$675,192.00$2,380,145,035.00
Trade/Transportation/Utilities 209220165$699,943.00$597,880,664.00
-Transportation/Warehousing 2291401$417,573.00$52,651,679.00
-Utilities  *   39527$534,141.00$32,570,989.00
-Wholesale Trade 5784894$968,865.00$211,840,338.00

 *Some data was suppressed to prevent disclosure of confidential information.

Source: South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation

Leading Employers

Andesthesia Care, Ltd (Aberdeen – 1,400)
Larson Door Manufacturing (Brookings – 1,300)
Daktronics Inc (Brookings – 945)
3M Company (Brookings & Aberdeen – 1,350)
State Capitol (Pierre – 725)
Dakota Provisions (Huron – 600)
Premier Bancard (Watertown – 600)
Prairie Lakes Healthcare (Watertown – 525)
St. Mary’s Hospital (Pierre – 500)
Wells Fargo Auto Finance (Aberdeen – 500)


Government and Taxation

Levels of government range from local township boards, municipality governments, county commissions all the way up to our State Legislators and Governor. The State Legislative Session runs from January to March year. Congressional Representation: John Thune, Tim Johnson, Kristi Noem. Voter turnout in this region averages 65%.

Local (2%) & State (4%) sales tax, no personal income tax, no inheritance tax, no corporate income tax, no gross receipts tax and low property tax structure. For the second year in a row South Dakota has ranked #1 in State Business Climate according to the Tax Foundation and ranked #1 for the past six years on the Corporate Tax Index.

Workers Comp. and Unemployment

Source: South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation


YearMonthsLabor ForceEmploymentUnemployment Rate

Higher Education

Northern State University
1200 South Jay Street
Aberdeen, SD

Lake Area Vocational Technical Institute
230 11th Street NE
PO Box 730
Watertown, South Dakota 57201
General Information: (605) 882-LATI or 1-800-657-4344
Fax 1-605-882-6299


Presentation College
1500 N. Main Street
Aberdeen, SD 57401

South Dakota State University
Be Great. Start Here.
Brookings, SD 57007


Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Tribal College
Physical Address: BIA Rd 700, Agency Village, SD 57262
Mailing Address: Agency Village Box 689, Sisseton SD 57262
Main Telephone: (605) 698.3966 Fax: (605) 698.3132


Washington, DC, December 12, 2011 – Highlighting the need to improve student learning and graduation rates in community colleges — leading to good jobs — the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program today announced Lake Area Technical Institute as a “finalist with distinction” for the first annual Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, chosen from an original pool of over 1,000 schools. More »


Transportation is good throughout the region, with highways and rail connectivity. Highway 12 is part of the transportation backbone of the region and has a rich history associated with it. Multiple businesses (including a power plant, wheat growers, and ethanol plants) have grown up along this corridor to take advantage of the logistics opportunities, and it is also a tourist draw as the 'Yellowstone Trail.' Other transportation routes in the area may not have as much history, but still offer valuable transportation opportunities and shouldn't be overlooked.

Take The Tour Around Deuel County: (Click below)

Sanford Medical Clinic and Hospital - Deuel County
Tech Ord
Good Samaritan Society - Deuel County
SD Partners Inc. - Clear Lake
Interstates Telecommunications Cooperative, Inc.
Deubrook School District - Toronto and White
Roelofsen's Implement
Buffalo Ridge Resort
Department of AG's Annual Report and Deuel County Listings
Invenergy - Wind energy -

     Click here for Invenergy's Economic Impact on Wind

Avangrid Renewables - Wind energy

and many more employment opportunities.