What does a strong economy top ranking mean in South Dakota?

KELOLAND.com Original

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota has a strong economy, but what does that mean?

Gov. Kristi Noem said the state’s economy was the strongest in the U.S. during Tuesday’s (Dec.7) budget address in Pierre.

The rankings shared by various organizations list unemployment, job loss and gain, revenue lost, and growth in the gross domestic product (GDP), as some of the measures of economic recovery and strength.

South Dakota was the only state that did not post any loss in cumulative revenue since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic through February 2021 compared to the prior 12 months, according to the Pew Trust.

On Sept. 1, WalletHub ranked South Dakota first in economic recovery from pandemic. WalletHub said it looked at consumer spending, job postings and other factors.

The Federal Reserve of Bank of Minneapolis said in October that South Dakota’s economy was recovery quicker than others in the 9th District. It cited the return to employment returning to pre-pandemic levels in October 2020 as one factor.

Although WalletHub ranked South Dakota first in economic recovery from the pandemic on Sept. 1, the organization ranked the state seventh on Oct. 1 of states whose unemployment rates are “bouncing back.”

US News has ranked Utah as the state with the top economy and cites job growth, overall growth in the GDP, business environment and other factors. South Dakota does not make the top 15 list and ranks 30th. The report said it measured job growth and the overall growth of each state’s gross domestic product were measured between 2016 and 2019. 

On Aug. 4, Forbes listed Utah as the state with the biggest economic growth.

According to the Carsey School of Public Management at the University of New Hampshire, Idaho and Utah have done well with recovery.

Also, the Carsey report said, in October, South Dakota was growing more slowly than many other states as of (October). “This suggests that the “last mile” to recovery may be more difficult,” the Carsey report said.

The state already had slow job growth prior to the pandemic so any job growth during the pandemic and after would be good. According to the Carsey School of Public Management at the University of New Hampshire, employment levels are only 2% lower than the pre-COVID-19 trend.

According to Forbes, the state Gross Domestic Product (GDP) declined by 1.7% from the first quarter of fiscal year 2020 to the first quarter of 2021.

But there was an improvement in the second quarter.

South Dakota’s (GDP) grew by 4% from the first quarter of fiscal year 2021 to the second quarter, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The state’s economy is driven in large part by sales and municipal tax which made up about 63% of the fiscal year 2022 budget revenue.

Noem said in her weekly letter Friday the state has experienced significant growth in tourism. It also had a 15% growth in sales tax revenue in the past year, she said.

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