SDBOR Occupational Wages Dashboard
Strong occupational wages are an essential prerequisite for meaningful economic growth. Firms seeking to attract and retain talented workers must be able and willing to offer competitive wages, particularly in the context of an increasingly national (and often global) labor market. High wages also serve national, state, and local economies through increased consumer spending and tax revenues.
The SDBOR Occupational Wages Dashboard summarizes recent federal data on occupational wages in South Dakota and all other US states. Specifically, the dashboard presents – for over 800 different occupations – detailed data on total employment, job concentration, and average wages. Data can be summarized in two ways: all occupations for a single state (or) all states for a single occupation. For all data views, the dashboard provides a ranked list of all states/occupations for the selected data measure.
All data are reported directly from the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program conducted by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This program produces a limited number of annual wage estimates for national, state, and substate populations. OEWS estimates are based on a semiannual survey of nonfarm establishments in the United States. (Note that, because OEWS is a survey of nonfarm establishments, data on some agriculture-related occupations are limited.) OEWS state estimates are produced by states using technical procedures established by the BLS; national figures are aggregations of state figures. Some data may be suppressed to avoid disclosure of identifiable information. Self-employed and unpaid workers are excluded.
The most recent release of Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics data shows that:
- In 2020, South Dakota ranked third-lowest in the United States for average annual pay across all occupations ($44,960). The national average was $56,310
- "Management" ($109,890), "legal" ($87,110), and "healthcare practitioners" ($73,010) were the highest-paying occupational categories in South Dakota in 2020.
Source: US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Some data are not available for all geographies. Estimates may not be provided for states with a limited number of workers in particular occupations.
- “Location quotients” are one way of measuring the relative concentration of an occupation in a particular geography. LQs are calculated by dividing a particular occupation’s share of all occupations in a given location by that occupation’s share of all occupations in a base location (i.e., the entire United States). LQs greater than 1.00 suggest that a particular occupation is comparatively more common in a given geography than in the US as a whole; LQs below 1.00 suggest values that are comparatively low (relative to the nation). LQs are not calculated for the US as a whole, or for “All Occupations” aggregations.
- Dollar figures are shown in nominal terms; they have not been adjusted for inflation.
- Indicator descriptions:
- Total Employment: Estimated total employment rounded to the nearest ten
- Jobs per 1000: Number of jobs (employment) in a given area per 1,000 jobs in that area
- Location Quotient: Ratio of an occupation’s share of employment in an area to that occupation’s share of employment in the US as a whole
- Average Annual Pay: Average annual pay for workers in selected state/occupation
- Average Hourly Pay: Average weekly pay for workers in selected state/occupation
For a comparison of purchasing power between South Dakota and other locations across the United States, see the South Dakota Real Wage Calculator
, available from the Governor's Office of Economic Development website