Few COVID-19 Rules Not #1 Reason Neb, SD Among Lowest Jobless Rates

Five of the six states with the nation’s lowest unemployment rates are in the Midwest, have Republican governors and have almost no restrictions intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus. 

     Those governors have said their lack of mask mandates or other restrictions are a big reason why their states are riding out the pandemic relatively well, but most economists say it’s not so simple.

     The economists say a lack of mandates might help, but of even greater importance is the fact that Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa and Missouri have economies that rely heavily on industries that weren’t hit as hard by the pandemic.