Local job trends moving towards more secure, long-term positions

RAPID CITY, S.D. — In a report from the Labor Department, just under 4.3 million workers across the country quit their jobs voluntarily.

Elevate BuildingBy region, the South had the greatest amount of people quit at 1,722,000. The Midwest, which includes South Dakota, had 1,015,000 people quit.

Most of these jobs people were leaving are in Hospitality, Food Service, and Retail work.

The information is not broken up by state, but South Dakota’s Black Hills region is still feeling the effects of a large dip in the hospitality industry. Since 2019, they have had significantly lower numbers than normal.

“That’s the big part of where our labor force as a whole is sort of down from where it would be,” President and C.E.O of Benchmark data Labs Dr. Jared McEntaffer said. “We’re still down maybe a few thousand jobs in those sectors in the area still.”

Over at Elevate Rapid City, a company dedicated to bringing new economic opportunity to the area, C.E.O and President Tom Johnson is noticing rising trends in positions related to construction and health care work. Jobs where longevity and security are factors playing into people’s decision.

“We are seeing a little bit of a movement out of the hospitality and retail sector, into these places like the construction and the trades,” Johnson said. “I think folks are saying ‘Hey, what do I think I can do long-term? Is this sustainable to be in the retail/hospitality space?'”

Another thing he points out is in reference to retail jobs becoming more automated. As a result of the pandemic automation has only increased, taking away jobs.

Johnson sees these people focusing more on finding a new job. One where automation is much more unlikely.

“I do think you’re going to see more people moving from these places that are starting get automated, to places that you can’t automate that easy. Like those jobs in which you have to have customer service, you have to have soft skills, management, healthcare,” he explains. “Those kind of things that can’t get automated. So you’re going to see that shift in the next five years.”

However, he sees the idea of automation as another opportunity for employment with the right kind of training.

“You’re going to see people need to run those machines,” Johnson explained. “So I think the training will shift from folks breaking their backs with the actual machine and doing the manual labor to having more technical skills and being trained on how to run that machine.”

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News