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South Dakota Economy

On a seasonally adjusted basis, South Dakota's unemployment rate continued to move upward to 3.3 percent in the first quarter of 1993 from 3.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 1992. The South Dakota Labor Department reports falling claims for unemployment insurance benefits and decreases in the number of job losers and job leavers along with decreases in people entering and re-entering the labor force resulting in a lower unemployment rate of 3.2 percent in April 1993.

Non-farm employment decreased slightly in the first quarter of this year compared to the previous quarter. Preliminary figures reported in the May 1993 issue of the South Dakota Labor Bulletin reveal an overall increase of 4,600jobs from March to April 1993 in nonfarm wage and salaried employment. Most of this gain resulted from seasonal employment increases in construction, wholesale/retail trade and the service sector.

Construction employment rose in the first quarter of 1993 increasing 5.3 percent. The increase of 1,400 construction jobs reported in April 1993 compared to the previous month were due mainly to the seasonal highway and street projects that begin in the spring, along with building and special trade contractors.

An increase in total personal income of 5.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 1992 compared to the previous quarter resulted in part from strong gains in the farm sector. Excluding farm income, the nonfarm proprietor's income rose 4.2 percent.

The sale of new cars and trucks slowed in the first quarter of 1993 compared to the previous quarter. New truck sales decreased 1.3 percent; however, compared to a year ago truck sales were up 2.5 percent. In actual number or units sold, the number of trucks sold exceeded car sales in both the fourth quarter of 1992 and the first quarter of 1993.

The United States Economy

Total personal income for the United States increased 5.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 1992 compared to this period a year ago. Consumers appear to be willing to spend more as was evidenced in the slight recovery in retail sales in April and May following the March plunge. The Index of Consumer Sentiment rose in January to 89.3, but moved downward to 85.9 in March of this year.

Non-ag employment rose 0.9 percent in the first quarter of 1993 compared to a year ago. This indicator has shown some growth since the previous quarter with average employment of 109,102,000 in the first quarter compared to 108,643,000. Continued employment growth is needed to sustain expansion in the economy.

The unemployment rate for the nation fell slightly from a year ago-7.0 percent in the first quarter of this year compared to 7.2 percent a year ago. Stronger employment should help improve consumer confidence this summer.
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Title Annotation:performance of the South Dakota economy in 1992 and 1993, includes statistical appendix
Publication:South Dakota Business Review
Date:Jun 1, 1993
Words:476
Previous Article:The 1993 South Dakota family business survey.
Next Article:South Dakota personal income update.
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