While South Dakota concentrates on recruiting gunmakers and failure-prone beef plants and mega-dairies to boost its economy, the Twin Cities continue to draw the big money. Here's the WonkBlog's take on metro-Minnesota's pretty good job opportunities:
Minnesota unemployment usually tracks below the national average, and the Twin Cities even below that. The region is blessed with 19 Fortune 500 companies, like Cargill, United Health Group, 3M, Target, Best Buy, Medtronic, and General Mills. It’s also a national center for the fast-growing medical device industry, giving it a pretty healthy base of careers in science and technology fields, with the revenue-generating patents and high incomes that come with them.
There are a couple of other less apparent factors behind Minneapolis’ success. Three decades ago, the regional governing body set up the Fiscal Disparities Act, which created a tax revenue-sharing agreement for a seven-county area. That facilitates regional cooperation in attracting companies–something that the tri-state Washington D.C. area struggles with, as each jurisdiction tries to steal companies from its neighbor. Also, the area has been a target for the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement, which has helped establish Somali, Hmong, Vietnamese, Ethiopian, and Liberian communities in the area. Immigrants start businesses at twice the rate of native-born U.S. citizens, so that’s a leg up too [Lydia DePillis, "Give the Weather Credit for Minneapolis'[s] Fantastic Unemployment Rate," Washington Post: WonkBlog, 2013.07.05].
Nineteen Fortune 500 companies, the ones who are evidently the best at making money, choose to make their homebase in a state that taxes and regulates more than South Dakota, which hosts no Fortune 500 companies. The Twin Cities draw high-tech workers, no doubt in part by offering them much better pay than South Dakota. The Twin Cities cooperate with their neighbors and share the wealth across local borders. And they recognize that immigration drives business growth—has South Dakota extrapolated that lesson beyond big dairies yet?