Black Hills Knowledge Netowork

Custer County - Work & Economy

Custer County - Work & Economy

Custer County’s median household income rose from $50,536 in 2010 to $54,309 in 2015. According to the 2015 American Community Survey, the labor force in Custer County is made up of 4,038 individuals, with 3,823 currently employed and 209 unemployed. Custer County’s unemployment rate is currently 2.9 percent. For a more in-depth economic profile of Custer County, visit the South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

Gross Sales Revenue

Custer County ranked 30th in South Dakota for gross sales revenue in 2016, generating over $199 million, as reported by the South Dakota Department of Revenue. Highest grossing sectors included services ($85.8 million), retail trade ($78.2 million), and transportation and public utilities ($23.0 million). Taxable sales in Custer County exceeded $126 million in 2016, according to the South Dakota Department of Revenue. Below is a chart detailing a Custer County’s annual gross sales by sector.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gross Domestic Product

Output and growth are determined by intricate relationships between labor and capital, and thus looking at labor force and business growth over time can give insights into the Black Hills Economy. Increases in the labor force may be determined by population or by greater participation in the labor force due to a variety of factors. The combination of new establishments may interact with changes in the labor force to produce varied outcomes across the region. Below is a chart showing the labor force in Custer County over the past decade. The shade of the bars indicates the level of business establishments that year. The darker the bar, the more businesses exist in the economy. This data has been recorded by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as a part of the Local Area Unemployment Survey. Learn more here

The term “establishment” refers to the physical location of a certain economic activity – for example, a factory, mine, store, or office. A single establishment produces a single good or provides a single service. An enterprise (a private firm, government, or nonprofit organization) can consist of a single establishment or multiple establishments. All establishments in an enterprise may be classified in one industry (e.g., a chain), or they may be classified in different industries (e.g., a conglomerate).

More information on Gross Domestic Product can be found here.

Tourism Tax

Custer County ranked 5th in the state with $36,274,831 in real taxable tourism sales in 2016.  That amount represented 4.4 percent share of the state’s total. To see where other counties rank, see our chart on the South Dakota Dashboard.

Employment and Workforce

The top five leading industries in Custer County are healthcare & social assistance, public administration, agriculture, forestry, fishing, & hunting, accommodations & food service, retail trade and educational  services according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The leading employers in Custer County are the Black Hills National Forest, the Custer School District, and Custer County.

Custer County has a total of 2,414 jobs as of 2015 and 68.2 percent of adults are working, less than the national average of 68.7 percent.

Income & Wages

Median household income for individuals over the age of 65  in South Dakota as of 2015 was $37,896, which was lower than the United States median of $40,971. Custer County’s median household income rose from $50,536 in 2010 to $54,309 in 2015.

The number of people living in Poverty in Custer County is 873, approximately 10.7 percent of the total population. The state’s poverty rate is 13.7 percent as compared to the United States average of 14.7 percent.

Out of the 3,543 total households, 949 households, or 26.8 percent pay 30 percent or more of their income on monthly housing costs, also known as housing cost burden. South Dakota’s housing cost burden is slightly less than Custer County at 24.5 percent, but the United States is higher at 33.3 percent.

Agriculture & Resources

There were 446 farms in Custer County totaling 623,206 acres according to the 2012 U.S. Department of Agriculture Census. The average farm or ranch was 1,397 acres. The number of farms engaged in cattle production was 241. Between 2007 and 2012, the number of farms devoted to agriculture increased by 24 percent. The market value of agricultural products sold in the county rose 81 percent to $26,013,000 from $14,377,000 in 2007. Livestock accounted for 89 percent of all sales. 78 percent of farmland was devoted to pasture in Custer County. The amount of government payments farms received in 2012 totaled $1,285,000, up by 20 percent since 2007. The average principal operator of a farm was 60 years old and was most likely male and white. Four Native Americans and 76 women were principal operators of farms. Custer County was ranked 4th in the state for bison production and 12th for horse and pony production. 

For more information on agriculture in Custer County, see the county profile at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's website. Explore more information at agcensus.gov and Rural Life and Census Data at SDSU, Brookings, SD.

For a summary of the results of the latest Agricultural Census for Custer County (2012), please open the attached PDF file.

Environment & Conservation

The Custer County Conservation District works to “provide leadership and administer programs to help people conserve, improve, and sustain [the] natural resources and environment” in Custer County, South Dakota. The Conservation District uses available technical, financial, and education resources to educate and assist local land users.

Contact the CCCD at CusterCD@sdconservation.org.

Housing

The homeownership rate in Custer County is 81.3 percent, with 3,057 households owned out of 3,759 occupied households. This rate is higher than both the national rate, 63.0 percent, and the state rate of 68.2 percent.

Out of the 3,543 total households, 949 households, or 26.8 percent pay 30 percent or more of their income on monthly housing costs, also known as housing cost burden. South Dakota’s housing cost burden is slightly less than Custer County at 24.5 percent, but the United States is higher at 33.3 percent.

Tourism

Custer County ranked 5th in the state with $36,274,831 in real taxable tourism sales in 2016.  That amount represented 4.4 percent share of the state’s total. To see where other counties rank, see our chart on the South Dakota Dashboard.

Three of the top five leading industries in Custer County are agriculture, forestry, fishing, & hunting, accommodations & food service, arts, retail trade and educational services according to the U.S. Census Bureau, as tourism and services make up a large part of the Custer County economy.

More Information

For more data on the economies of South Dakota and the Black Hills, please check out our interactive graphs and charts on the South Dakota Dashboard.

Related items

  • Rapid City Teachers Receive Salary Increase During 2016-2017 School Year

    Teachers in the Rapid City Area School District received a salary increase of more than nine percent last year, as reported by KOTA News. This…
  • Rapid City Teachers Still in Contract Negotiations

    The Rapid City Education Association and Rapid City Area Schools are still in negotiations concerning this year’s contract for the district’s teachers, reports KOTA News.…
  • Deadwood Gaming Numbers Rise Slightly in July

    Deadwood’s casinos saw an uptick in revenue last month, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. In July 2017, just over $106 million was played on machines…

525 University Loop, Suite 202
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 716-0058   info@blackhillsknowledgenetwork.org