South Dakota's Unemployment Rate DROPPED During COVID - Gov. Noem Cites Light Restrictions

Sergie Daez | February 1, 2021
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South Dakota’s unemployment rate may be proof that the COVID-19 restrictions undertaken by other states were woefully draconian. 

According to the Washington Examiner, South Dakota had an unemployment rate of 3.4% in December 2019, but the rate dropped to just 3.0% by December 2020 despite the country having just gone through a pandemic. In fact, South Dakota and Nebraska are tied for having the lowest unemployment rates in America. 

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem stated, “South Dakota experienced a truly incredible year. Despite the pandemic forcing businesses to adjust, we have perhaps the strongest economy in the country.”

Her key to success? No severe restrictions. In her own words, “SD businesses cut the fewest hours and the fewest wages of any state in America. They had the lowest decrease in demand for their products and services. South Dakota’s economy took a hit when COVID came, just like every state, but we’ve come roaring back stronger than ever.”

Noem additionally suggested that workers from adjacent Minnesota (governed by Democrat Tim Walz) move to South Dakota in order to avoid the fallout from their state's $1.3 billion budget deficit. 

Interestingly, nine out of the 10 states with the lowest unemployment rates for December 2020 have Republican governors, while those with the highest unemployment rates all have Democrat governors.