The Displaced Plainsman features another economic scorecard that doesn't fit Governor Dennis Daugaard's portrayal of South Dakota as a great place to do business... or maybe it does. Mr. Kallis finds this list of the ten best states in which to make a living, a list that South Dakota does not make:
South Dakota wasn't first on this list. That honor went to Washington state. South Dakota didn't make the top 10. Neighboring Minnesota ranked 3rd, North Dakota 7th, and Nebraska 10th. Scrolling down the list, two of our other neighbors were in the top twenty: Iowa ranked 15th and Wyoming 17th. Montana made it into the top 50 half of states coming in at 22.
South Dakota didn't make the top half. When it comes to earning a living, South Dakota is the best of the worst, coming in 26th. I'm not a marketing guru, but I doubt most people respond well to invitations to be "art of the best of the worst". Further, "Come Work in South Dakota; Earning a Living Here Is Only Slight More Difficult Than It Is In Montana" doesn't have much of a ring to it and it doesn't fit on a bumper sticker [Leo Kallis, "South Dakota Worst State In Region To Earn A Living," The Displaced Plainsman, 2014.06.24].
If Governor Daugaard is hanging around the Mall of America trying to convince regular working Minnesotans to move here, those stats won't help much. If he's trying to recruit CEOs who want squeeze labor for greater profits while they keep their villas in Wayzata, knowing that their labor market competitors in South Dakota aren't pouring on the wages could be a cynical plus.
But South Dakota already has among the the lowest unemployment rate in the country. New companies moving in need to bring more workers into the state. So even those profiteering CEOs have an interest in being able to turn to applicants from Minneapolis, Fargo, and Lincoln and to say, "Yes! Moving to our new factory in Mitchell will be a step up for you and your family." The stats Mr. Kallis shows us challenge business leaders and the Governor alike to make that claim with a straight face.
Update 12:03 CDT: That didn't last long: CNBC has taken away South Dakota's "Best State for Business" ranking after just one year. In the newest rankings, South Dakota falls from #1 to #11. Minnesota ranks #6, a fact about which Minnesota is entitled to razz us mercilessly... or at least ask that we remove our big #1 banner from the Minneapolis airport.