Unemployment in Rapid City is on a downward trend

RAPID CITY, S.D. — The unemployment rate in Rapid City is down 2 points from the month of May to June making the rate 8.2%. But downtown businesses are struggling to find people to work in their stores and restaurants. There were approximately 6,300 residents in Rapid City who were on unemployment during the month of June.

The COVID-19 pandemic put a lot of people out of work and many people were forced to seek unemployment benefits through the state. Statewide, South Dakota did not have strict lock down mandates making it easier for businesses to continue operating during the pandemic.

“We’re not like the rest of the nation where we had extreme lock downs.” Said Tom Johnson, CEO of Elevate Rapid City. “Our Governor didn’t lock down, we only had a few measures with bars and gyms and restaurants and theaters. Of which we had to be, you know more of a curb side pick up model so I think we actually made it through pretty well. You look at what happened with unemployment we went from 3% to 13% to 10% and now we are back down to 8%. So we expect this leveling off and decrease to continue on the unemployment rate.”

Although the South Dakota unemployment rate is higher than usual, some businesses in downtown Rapid City are struggling to find workers. Manager of the Fire House Brewing Company, Bob Fuchs say’s he is 20 employees short of what he needs.

“We’re curious as to where are those people, are they still on unemployment cause we know we are’t the only ones. The hotels are experiencing the same issues as well as other businesses.” said Fuchs.

The Fire House will hold a job fair Thursday July 30 at 10 a.m. and will be hiring for all Fire House locations and for Que Pasa as well.

Categories: Local News