Kristi Noem says South Dakota’s unemployment rate is ‘lower than it was BEFORE the pandemic’

South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem has received plenty of grief throughout the coronavirus pandemic from Democrats and the media in response to her refusal to impose harsh lockdowns on the state’s populace, such as business closures, stay-at-home orders, or mandatory mask-wearing.

Yet, while many of the states that imposed such restrictions on the citizenry continue to suffer significant economic troubles, South Dakota is actually doing better economically, specifically in terms of unemployment, than it was prior to the start of the pandemic, the governor announced on Friday. 

Fewer unemployed workers

Noem announced the good economic news Friday on Twitter, writing, “NEWS: South Dakota’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.0% in December. That’s lower than it was BEFORE the pandemic.”

The governor’s announcement was backed up by a release from the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation’s Labor Market Information Center that provided the numbers in support of her assertion, the Washington Examiner reported.

According to that release, as of December 2020, South Dakota had roughly 14,000 unemployed workers out of a labor force estimated at 461,300 potential workers, for an unemployment rate of about 3.0 percent.

In December 2019, the state had 15,800 workers out of a workforce that was 465,800 strong, for an unemployment rate of 3.4 percent.

Way ahead

The release also compared South Dakota’s unemployment numbers with that of the United States overall, and the difference was remarkable.

As of December 2020, the U.S. had about 10.7 million workers drawing unemployment out of a labor force sized around 160.6 million workers, for an unemployment rate of approximately 6.7 percent — more than twice as high as South Dakota.

Back in December 2019, however, prior to the arrival of the pandemic and while former President Donald Trump’s economic policies were in full effect — and numerous states and businesses weren’t locked down interminably — there were about 5.8 million unemployed workers out of a labor force estimated to be 164.6 million, meaning the unemployment rate was around 3.6 percent — just slightly above where South Dakota was at that point in time.


“Many in the media criticized this approach, labeling me ill-informed, a ‘denier,’ and reckless,” Noem said to reporters in December about her handling of the pandemic, according to the Examiner. “Some have even asserted that South Dakota is ‘as bad as it gets anywhere in the world’ when it comes to COVID-19, a demonstrably false statement.”

Indeed, and while Noem’s South Dakota has seen its share of COVID-19 infections and deaths, the state appears to be avoiding some of the economic devastation that has accompanied the pandemic in so many other places.

California and New York should take some notes.

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17 Responses

    1. I would love to see that also. If it wasn’t for the winter weather I would look into moving there but just can’t handle the snow. I have Essential Tremors which they believe I got from agent orange. In cold weather they really get worse.

      1. Micheal ,I just lost my oldest brother to cancer + agent orange, he was one of my very few heroes in life, thankyou for your service as well, my parents had 4 sons and 3 of them are marines, I am still not over losing my brother who died 3 weeks before Christmas past, I too would not mind moving to S.Dakota, Again thankyou for your service Paul the Jarhead 79-82

        1. Paul, so sorry for your loss. I to am a former Marine 1968-1975. I turned 17 on May 25th and went to boot camp on June 15th. Went to Vietnam as a Tunnel Rat right after I turned 18 in 1969. Was there for 14 months. Have 16 confirmed kills on my record. But I made it back in one peace fortunately. Things were fine until I hit my early 50s then all of a sudden nightmares, couldn’t sleep, would have crying spells and the shaking started and I couldn’tcontrolany of it. I am 100% Service Connected, have been since 2012. Anyway..Thank you

    2. Me also. Christi would have my vote immediately, or she could be a great pick for VP if Trump was to run again ,I refuse to vote for Mike Pence again, I believe he signed his own death warrant after his stabs in the back to Trump and all of his supporters , Gov. Noem had a terrific article written about her in Newsmax magazine, I suggest buying this monthly magazine, it is very informative and honest reading

    3. I think Kristy Noem is a Superstar. I also think Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr., Have what it takes to financially run our country effectively.

      Nikki Haley disappointed me when she turned her back on our President Donald J. Trump. Several other Superstars are Jordan, Nunes, Pompeo, Ted Cruz, and a few others. These folks are not only Superstars, but they are fighters for justice, honesty and integrity. Judge Jennine Piro should be our our official Attorney General, I was hoping that Trey Gowdy would have been identified as the FBI Director, but I do not know if he would hold the line for truth, honesty and integrity.

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  3. Love reading such positive comments! You are true Americans with a great heart. Thank you and thanks to Governor Noem.

  4. I hope she does run for President one day. She will surely get my vote! I also believe the remainder of the country should follow her lead. Let’s open up jobs and schools and get this country back to producing and teaching in person.

  5. Shows how smart she is .Watch the incompetent left attack her because they are just jealous of her ability and integrity.We pray for her

  6. So refreshing to hear about someone who truly loved their citizens and was looking out for them. God bless her.

  7. This is what happens when common sense is used. Most politicians think they are untouchable.Biden has been in office for decades, just getting a paycheck. Now he is President and gets paid to destroy everything. Yet people that want to work, cannot. That is why I and others did not vote for the cowards. Those that did, either are stupid, or do not care. Hmm! I have served in the military and worked over 55 jobs including the military. Some of these politicians do not know what real work is. God is the answer. Pray in Jesus Name. I have and it works. Help at least one person a day. I emailed Biden and others. I hope it works?

  8. Kristi Noem needs to carefully document and summarize her policies during the COVID-19 era, and the effects they have had on SD and its citizens, both in respect to the medical issues and the economic issues..

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