City of Sioux Falls contributes to unusually low unemployment - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

City of Sioux Falls contributes to unusually low unemployment

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Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether delivered the State of the City address Wednesday, highlighting some of the major achievements of 2013.

One of those big achievements is an extremely low unemployment rate of just 3.1 percent at the end of 2013—significantly lower than recent years. The unemployment rate could get even lower with more new jobs on the horizon in 2014, many coming within the City of Sioux Falls.

In addition to the hundreds of new jobs the City of Sioux Falls has helped bring to town—places like Costco, the Denny Sanford Premier Center and a new north side Walmart—the City itself is looking to fill 100 positions in 2014. All of which will see some stark competition.

"There is a bevy of people that want to join our team. We had over 4448 applications for the City of Sioux Falls last year," said Mayor Mike Huether.

All of those applications were to fill just 64 positions with the city.

"Whenever we have a vacancy they're highly competitive... it's not uncommon for us to get 100 applications for every vacancy we have in the City of Sioux Falls," said Bill O'Toole, Director of Human Resources with the City of Sioux Falls.

Once someone earns a job with the city, they're not likely to let it go.

"We have 1159 city employees right now, the turnover rate is just unbelievably good—its 4.47 percent turnover rate," said Mayor Huether.

"There's a lot of cost when you have a high turnover environment, because you invest a lot of dollars into new hires in their development and their training and you don't want to have high turnover," said O'Toole.

That's why the City of Sioux Falls works sure their employees are happy.

"We offer competitive pay and benefits, a great work environment," said O'Toole.

"The City of Sioux Falls really cares about their employees here, we have wellness programs, and we've even gone a step further into well0-being programs where we look at your career well being, your social well-being and they go well beyond your average company," said Jamison Reginek, the Sustainability Coordinator for the City of Sioux Falls.

Reginek was one of the city's new hires in 2013; he says there are many benefits to working in the public sector.

"There are so many positive benefits of working with the city, knowing that I would be working for not only my own career growth, but also being a civil servant for the rest of the community here and really every day I go to work I try to improve and make Sioux Falls a little bit better which is a great thing," said Reginek.

More than 40 percent of the city's employees work in the area of public safety. Many of the job openings the city will post in 2014 are in the police department where more people are retiring to take advantage of the new pension benefits that went into effect this year.

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