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Bad, good news for SD in online labor study

Northern Plains News Service

There was bad news and good news for South Dakota in a recent study of online labor demand in August, according to The Conference Board.

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The bad news was online labor demand -- online job postings -- increased in 46 of the 50 states, but not South Dakota.

South Dakota joined Arizona and Delaware in having unchanged online labor demand. In California, job postings declined. Forty-four of the 50 states were above last August's levels.

For 2013, the Midwest region -- which includes South Dakota -- is up 30,300 postings through August. Ohio posted the largest increase (9,700), followed by Wisconsin (6,600), Michigan (4,100), Missouri (3,500), Minnesota (2,200) and Illinois (1,900). Among the smaller Midwest states in August, Indiana gained 4,400; North Dakota increased 1,600; and Kansas rose 400.

The good news for South Dakota, according to the study, is that the state is faring better than the country as a whole in terms of worker demand.

According to the study, since the start of 2013, the demand for workers has been flat in the U.S. with 21 of the 50 states posting losses, which mostly offset the gains in other states. The sharpest declines for this year were in like Maryland and Virginia, which were impacted by the federal budget sequester.

And there is some additional good news for South Dakota, according to the study.

The state's supply/demand rate -- online ads versus the number of unemployed -- for July 2013 leads the nation with sister state North Dakota.

In South Dakota, the number of advertised vacancies exceeded the number of unemployed people. North Dakota and South Dakota were the only states with that positive result, where the supply/demand rates were 0.63 and 0.99 respectively.

The state with the highest supply/demand rate was Mississippi (4.65), where there were close to five unemployed workers for each online advertised vacancy.

The Conference Board cautions, however, that the supply/demand rate only provides a measure of relative tightness of the individual state labor markets and does not suggest that the occupations of the unemployed directly align with the occupations of the advertised vacancies.

According to its website, The Conference Board is a global, independent business membership and research association working in the public interest. Founded in 1916, the group describes itself as an objective, independent source of economic and business knowledge.