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SD state, local government employee growth among fastest in nation

South Dakota state and local government employees grew at a faster rate than most of the country’s between 2007 and 2012, according to recent U.S. Census data.

The Mount Rushmore State, along with fellow Northern Plains states Wyoming and Nebraska, had government employment grow by more than 4 percent during that period.

North Dakota and Minnesota had a 2 to 4 percent decrease in state and local government employees during the period while Montana’s government workforce grew by less than 2 percent and Iowa’s by 2 to 4 percent.

Over 62,000 South Dakotans worked in state or local government as of 2012, according to Census data. Thirty-one percent worked in state government and 69 percent in local government.

Average annual state government wages in South Dakota were $50,000 to $55,000 and $35,000 to $40,000 for local government employees.

State employees working in education were the best paid, at an annual salary of $60,000 to $65,000 and the lowest paid were local natural resources employees at $30,000 to $35,000.