South Dakota, Florida, Rhode Island, Nebraska and Idaho are all thriving, operating at or above where their economies were in early March 2020 before the pandemic forced businesses to shutter and workers and students to stay home.
South Dakota’s economy is at 106% of its pre-pandemic strength, according to the index, while Florida’s economy is at 101%. The other three states are operating at 100% of pre-Covid level.
New York -— the pandemic’s epicenter in the early months of the outbreak — has the furthest to go to get back to normal. The state is operating at only 79% of its pre-pandemic level, and its April unemployment rate was the third highest in the nation at 8.2%, behind only Hawaii and California.
The data show, once again, how uneven the recovery is.
However most economists predict that the summer will boost the US economy further as more pandemic restrictions are eased.