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President Clinton and Vice President Gore: More Than 17 Million New Jobs, Unemployment at a Generational Low

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December 4, 1998

America's Economy Remains Solid and Strong. In November, unemployment dropped to 4.4 percent, more than a quarter of a million new jobs were created and wages continued to grow at twice the rate of inflation. In 1992, the American economy was barely creating jobs, wages were stagnant, and the unemployment rate was 7.5 percent. Five years ago, President Clinton put in place a bold new three-part economic strategy of cutting the deficit to help reduce interest rates and spur business investment; investing in education, health care, science and technology so that America was prepared to meet the challenges of the 21st century; and opening markets abroad so that American workers would have a fair chance to compete and win across the globe. Since then:

  • More than 17 Million New Jobs Have Been Created Under President Clinton and Vice President Gore. Last month alone, 267,000 more jobs were added to the American economy than were lost. Since President Clinton took office, the economy has added 17.3 million new jobs;

  • Unemployment Down To 4.4 Percent in November --Below 5 Percent For 17 Months In A Row. In 1992, the unemployment rate was 7.5 percent. In November, the unemployment rate was 4.4 percent. For the first time in 28 years, the unemployment rate has been below 5 percent for 17 months in a row;

  • Highest Share of New Jobs in Private Sector in 75 Years. Since President Clinton and Vice President Gore took office, the private sector of the economy has added 16.0 million new jobs --with over 2.5 million jobs added in the past year. Under President Clinton and Vice President Gore, 93 percent of the 17.3 million new jobs have been in the private sector --that is the highest percentage since Warren G. Harding was President in the early 1920s;

  • Fastest Real Wage Growth in More Than Two Decades. Last month, average hourly earnings increased 0.2 percent. Over the past year, average hourly earnings have risen 3.7 percent --that's more than twice the rate of inflation. After adjusting for inflation, wages have increased at about a 2.5 percent pace in the past 12 months --that's the fastest real wage growth in more than two decades;

  • Construction Jobs Are Coming Back. Under President Clinton and Vice President Gore, construction and manufacturing jobs are coming back: after losing 662,000 jobs in construction during the previous four years, more than 1.5 million new construction jobs have been added since January 1993 --that's a faster annual rate than any other Administration since Harry S Truman was President;

  • Record-Low Unemployment for African Americans and Hispanics. Under President Clinton and Vice President Gore, the African-American unemployment rate has fallen from 14.1 percent to 8.7 percent --one of its lowest levels on record (data first collected in 1972). And the Hispanic unemployment rate has dropped from 11.3 percent to 7.0 percent --also one of its lowest levels ever. But we still have more work to do, since these unemployment rates are well above the national average;

  • Inflation --Lowest Since 1961. In the third quarter, the GDP price index rose 0.8 percent at an annual rate. Over the past year, inflation rose just 0.9 percent --the smallest increase in 37 years.

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What's New - December 1998

White House Conference on Social Security

New Housing Grants

Social Security and Y2K Event

Combat Medicare Fraud

Air Strike Against Iraq

Initiative To Help Prevent Violence

Opening Remarks, White House Conference

The Air Strikes Against Iraq

General Benjamin Davis

World AIDS Day Event


Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Awards

Congressional Meeting Statement

End of Operation Desert Fox

Rose Garden Statement

Safe Drinking Water

Service Event in Washington, D.C.

New Relief Aid For Central America

The Earned Income Tax Credit

Tenth Anniversary of Pan Am 103 Disaster

Palestinian National Council Address

Unemployment at a Generational Low

The People Of Israel Address

Submission By Counsel For President Clinton To The Committee On The Judiciary Of The United States House Of Representatives