South Dakota Governor Christi Noem (R) declined federal funding for an unemployment boost in her state, saying that its recovery had been so rapid that the state could pay for the increase itself.
“South Dakota’s economy, having never been shut down, has recovered nearly 80% of our job losses,” Noem said in a statement. “South Dakota is the only state in the nation that didn’t have extended benefits kick in because our insured unemployment rate has been the lowest in the nation.”
The state was not particularly hard hit by the coronavirus outbreak and has only had 10,000 cases. The relatively low numbers allowed South Dakota to avoid shutting down and other restrictions that other states decided to impose.
The unemployment boost was part of an executive order by President Donald Trump to give the unemployed an extra $400 per week because of the large number of job losses related to coronavirus shutdowns.