Photographic book

Presentation of South Dakota's economy


Landcape of South Dakota
Landcape of South Dakota

Since the area’s early settlement in the mid-19th century, South Dakota’s economy has been based on cultivating the fertile soils in the east and ranching on the abundant grazing lands of the west. Mining first became important in the 1870s with the discovery of the Homestake Lode in the Black Hills. Manufacturing has increased in importance, and has diversified from its former dominance by the processing of primary products, such as foodstuffs and lumber. The state is also a national leader in the production of storm doors, computers, scoreboards, and medical products. Tourism, gambling, other service industries, transportation, and commerce also play important parts in the state’s economy. Sioux Falls and Rapid City are the principal trade centers in South Dakota.

South Dakota had a work force of 431,000 in 2008. Of those the largest share, 36 percent, worked in service industries, such as restaurants and data processing. Another 19 percent were employed in wholesale or retail trade; 18 percent in federal, state, or local government, including those serving in the military; 10 percent in manufacturing; 9 percent in farming (including agricultural services) or forestry; 14 percent in finance, insurance, or real estate; 6 percent in construction; 20 percent in transportation or public utilities; and just 0.3 percent in mining. In 2007, 7 percent of South Dakota’s workers were unionized. "South Dakota" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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