PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota’s economy continues to roar out of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a top official in state government.

Steve Westra, the governor’s commissioner of economic development, said Wednesday that South Dakota has done “very well” of late amid uncertainty about the U.S. economy.

He said South Dakota’s personal income growth of 8.5% for the first quarter and 19.4 % for the past two years were the best in the nation and South Dakota’s economic rating by CNN as of July 1 was 110% of the pre-pandemic level.

Westra made his remarks to the state Board of Economic Development during a teleconference. He said South Dakota’s gross state product rose at the fourth-highest rate nationally, with more than 12,000 new jobs added in the past 12 months and the 6th-lowest unemployment rate at 2.3%. He said housing permits grew 79% last year, which was 2nd-best in the nation.

“A lot of great things happening,” Westra said.

The board’s president, Jeff Erickson of Sioux Falls, praised the news. “I guess all you can say is things are going the right direction in South Dakota,” Erickson said. He added, “Outstanding report.”

Erickson observed that South Dakota’s agricultural sector is strong because commodities are strong right now. He also noted the 9.1% monthly inflation report from earlier in the morning.

“There is some headwind blowing. To me that makes it more outstanding, frankly, what’s going on in South Dakota,” Erickson said.