Many new rules went into effect in the United States as we turned the calendar over to 2021 and in the state of South Dakota that was true as well.

Not only are we ringing in the New Year with a new sports betting law in Deadwood, we also will have legal marijuana this year and the minimum wage in the state is increasing as well.

The South Dakota Department of Labor announced as of January 1, 2021, the minimum wage in the state increased to $9.45 per hour, up from $9.30.

Additionally, tipped employees can receive no less that $4.725 a hour which is also a increase from $4.65 per hour in the hospitality industry.

The idea of increasing the minimum wage can be a delicate subject because there are impacts to both the employer and employee.

The balance between employee wages and productivity is a real concern while also keeping a profitable business has to be a priority as well.

I am not a hourly employee but I do find it hard to believe that employers would still pay under $10 a hour even though they can.

Even though $9.45 a hour seems super low, the national minimum wage is only set at $7.25 per hour, so South Dakota is over $2 above the federal minimum wage.

In a day and age where a $.15 pay increase isn't going to help one bit for the person receiving the increase, it can be comparable to salaried employees getting some sort of inflation raise each year as if that is some sort of noble gesture.

The delicate balance is tricky especially in these times, but employers need to do more in regards to mental health of their employees, family time and wages but $.15 a hour isn't going to help.


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