Contrary to Governor Christy Noem’s persistent lies, South Dakota does not have “America’s strongest economy.” America doesn’t even have the most dynamic economy. According to the Economic Innovation Group’s National Dynamism Index,
On a scale from Delaware’s highest score of 47.7 to West Virginia’s lowest score of 11.1, South Dakota scored 31.2 for economic vitality in 2020, ranking 22nd in the nation. Nebraska, North Dakota, and Iowa scored low, while socialists in Montana, Wyoming, and Minnesota scored high.
None of our neighbors are in the top ten.
…or worst 10:
South Dakota seems to be right in the middle.
EIG considers eight factors in the Dynamism Score.
- core startup rate. Measure new company launches across sectors and highlight diverse business opportunities.
- Percentage of employees in companies less than five years old. These companies tend to innovate more and grow faster than older companies.
- Growth across the enterprise shows more opportunities and more competition.
- Number of patents per 1,000 inhabitants. Show your creativity and research achievements.
- Number of housing permits per 1,000 inhabitants. This shows that the economy offers ample opportunities to encourage talented people to come, stay and invest in their communities.
- Relocation rate. Measures how often workers change jobs. Turnover within companies may be bad, but across the economy, job transfers spread ideas and innovation, represent competitive wages, and discourage workers from finding jobs that match their talents and interests. It shows that there are fewer barriers. You will be happier and more productive.
- labor force participation rate. It shows that the economy offers many opportunities and that workers, especially young workers, are seizing them.
- migration rate. More people means more economic opportunities.
According to the EIG, South Dakota’s strongest metric is housing permits, which have outperformed the national average for most of the last 30 years. The labor force participation rate is also consistently above the national average. However, our patent and core startup rates are consistently below national averages.
Minnesota’s strongest metric is patents, currently operating at twice the rate of the nation. Minnesota also has a consistently high labor force participation rate. The indicators that Minnesota is consistently notably weaker than the national average are the percentage of young company employees and the redeployment rate.
In Noem’s first two years in office, 2019 and 2020, South Dakota’s average economic dynamism score was 30.3, matching Dennis Dugard’s average score during his eight-year reign. Like the rest of the country, South Dakota’s economic dynamism was much higher than it was 20-30 years ago, so South Dakota’s average dynamism score averaged 38.7 during the second Junklow administration. However, the national average ranking was only 34th. The Great Recession didn’t move as fast as other parts of the country, so an average Dynamism score of 37.0 during the governorship of Marion Michael Lowndes pushed South Dakota’s average ranking to 21st, among the four most recent governors. was the highest in
|governor||average dynamism score||average dynamism rank|
|Round (2003-2010)||37.0||twenty one|
|Dowgard (2011–2018)||30.3||twenty five|
Power is required to dynamically shake and bake. South Dakota’s half-hearted dynamism, driven by home builders and dragged down by a lack of ingenuity, is proof that it’s “America’s Strongest Economy.” It’s false advertising.