SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The finance industry has lost hundreds of workers in the past three years as health care and retail companies continue growing their workforce in the area.

The Argus Leader reports that finance and insurance companies employed just under 14,000 people in the metro area at the end of 2016. That’s down from a peak of more than 14,700 at the end of 2013.

The city lost a major employer in 2015 when commercial banking and credit card company Capital One Financial Corp. announced it was closing its Sioux Falls office.

The Fortune 500 company had ranked as Sioux Falls’ 10th largest employer with about 850 workers. The state’s jobs data, which is filed monthly by employers, shows a gradual decrease in the financial services workforce going back to Capital One’s decision to leave.

Voters also have agreed to cap interest rates on payday loans, and nearly half didn’t bother to renew their licenses in January. The possible effect on local jobs will be felt more in 2017 because the law change happened late in the year.

“We saw the majority if not all of those lenders that chose not to operate under the new business model,” said Marcia Hultman, head of the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation.

Finance remains one of the city’s largest employers. Economic development officials often target financial companies when recruiting new businesses for the state, said Jim Terwilliger, South Dakota’s economist.

“You’ve got an economy that’s grown there locally in Sioux Falls,” Terwilliger said. “It’s got good diversity and attracts from a big area.”


Information from: Argus Leader, http://www.argusleader.com