The economic damage caused by the current pandemic has decimated the job market in the United States thanks in part to state governments forcing businesses to close and putting millions of workers on the unemployment line.

At the height of the pandemic layoffs, the 'official' national unemployment rate reached 14.7%, though economists speculated that the number was much higher. Now that number is lower at 10.2%.

Here in South Dakota, our state government, and locally in Sioux Falls was more relaxed with shutdowns of businesses. Any restrictions imposed on businesses were lifted much sooner than neighboring states and similar-sized cities in the region.

Those proactive moves helped to keep the economy of South Dakota, and specifically Sioux Falls, from falling into a deep recession. The clearest evidence is seen in the positive impact on the unemployment rate of Sioux Falls.

According to the personal finance site WalletHub, Sioux Falls is the 13th best-ranked city in the country for unemployment rate recovery in July 2020.

The breakdown:

150.85% Change in Unemployment (July 2020 vs July 2019)

  • 6,615 unemployed people in July 2020 vs 2,637 in July 2019;
  • 81st best recovery in the U.S.

77.92% Change in Unemployment (July 2020 vs January 2020)

  • 6,615 unemployed people in July 2020 vs 3,718 in January 2020;
  • 10th best recovery in the U.S.

6.00% Official Unemployment Rate (July 2020) (Adjusted Rate*: 6.53%)

  • 9th lowest unemployment rate in the U.S.

Source: WalletHub

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