Teenage employment is on the rise in South Dakota
Teenagers are benefiting from the current labor market as they begin to work more and get paid more.
The Department of Labor's most recent data shows in 2021, South Dakota 68% of people aged 16-24 participated in the labor force compared to 55% nationally. Young people also make up a slightly larger share of South Dakota’s labor force than other states. Officials said these numbers are expected to increase.
Nathan Sanderson, the executive director of the South Dakota Retailers Association, said there has been a recent increase of teens in the workforce.
“For at least the last half dozen years or so, the lack of available workers has been the number one limiting factor in South Dakota's economic growth," said Sanderson. "There's lots and lots of opportunities for teenagers, whether that's a high school student or college student home for the summer, looking for summer employment."
Sanderson said there's a lot of opportunities for teenagers that gives them flexibility to still participate in sports and activities.
“Employers are desperately looking for workers from a teenage workers perspective. That's really good because they're going to have better options for the work that they're interested in doing and the wages are likely to remain pretty strong.”
He expects teenage employment to continue rising as wages and opportunities increase.