I don’t have a great explanation for not sharing this news until now.
But a quick search of other local media shows nobody else did either, so maybe we’re all so used to this storyline it didn’t seem that remarkable.
Here it is, anyway:
The Sioux Falls metro area has the nation’s lowest unemployment rate.
At 1.9 percent, we have eclipsed Fargo at 2.3 percent, and Rapid City and Bismarck, N.D., at 2.4 percent for this distinction.
And while none of us locally made much of a big deal about it, CNN/Money took notice.
The story mentioned our health care and banking sectors and our record construction. The mayor got to call us a boom town. Again.
And then the reporter talked to Steve Hildebrand, owner of Josiah’s Coffeehouse & Cafe, who frequently gets interviewed by national media covering Sioux Falls once they learn of his ties to national politics.
He mentioned raising his employees’ wages to $13 anhour this year in part to be competitive in an increasingly tight labor market.
“It’s a good time for employees. It’s a hard time for employers,” Hildebrand said in the article.
This has been a refrain among business leaders for the better part of several years. It’s the reason workforce development is a centerpiece of the next Forward Sioux Falls campaign and why the state has launched efforts such as its Build Dakota scholarship program.
Maybe that’s why my reaction wasn’t immediately positive when development foundation president Slater Barr told me Sioux Falls had the lowest unemployment rate in the nation.