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"This milestone is a credit to the American people, to their hard work. It also clearly highlights the need for us to stay on the path of fiscal discipline, overseas markets, investment in our people, that got us to this point."

President Bill Clinton
Friday, February 4, 2000

Today, at the White House, President Clinton announced findings of a new jobs report, showing that unemployment last month fell to 4.0 percent, the lowest in three decades. These strong employment numbers confirm that the U.S. is in the longest economic expansion in its history.

THE STRONGEST ECONOMIC EXPANSION IN AMERICA'S HISTORY. In 1992, when Bill Clinton was elected President, the American economy was barely creating jobs, wages were stagnant, and the unemployment rate was 7.5 percent. His bold economic strategy focused on three objectives: maintaining fiscal discipline; investing in education, health care, science, and technology; and opening foreign markets. This strategy helped contribute to what is now the longest economic expansion in U.S. history.

  • 20.8 Million New Jobs Created Under the Clinton-Gore Administration. Since 1993, the economy has added 20.8 million new jobs. That's the most jobs ever created under a single Administration -- and more new jobs than Presidents Reagan and Bush created during their three terms. Under President Clinton, the economy has added an average of 248,000 jobs per month, the highest of any President on record.

  • 92 Percent -- 19.2 Million -- of the New Jobs Have Been Created in the Private Sector. Since President Clinton and Vice President Gore took office, the private sector of the economy has added 19.2 million new jobs. That is 92 percent of the 20.8 million new jobs -- the highest percentage since Harry Truman was President and presiding over the post-World War II demobilization.

  • The Unemployment Rate Fell to 4.0 Percent in January - the Lowest in Three Decades. The unemployment rate has fallen for seven years in a row. It has remained below 5 percent for 31 months in a row. For women the unemployment rate was 4.2 percent -- staying at the lowest since 1953.

  • African American and Hispanic Unemployment Rates -- the Lowest on Record. The unemployment rate for African Americans has fallen from 14.2 percent in 1992 to 8.2 percent in January 2000, remaining at the lowest rate on record. Unemployment for Hispanics has fallen from 11.6 percent in 1992 to 5.6 percent in January 2000, remaining at the lowest rate on record.

  • Most Rapid Growth in Construction Jobs In 50 Years. After losing 662,000 jobs in construction during the previous four years, 2 million new construction jobs have been added during the Clinton-Gore years -- that's a faster annual rate (5.3 percent) than any other administration since Harry Truman's.

  • Fastest and Longest Real Wage Growth in Over Three Decades. In the last 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased 3.7 percent -- faster than the rate of inflation. The United States has had five consecutive years of real wage growth -- the longest consecutive increase since the 1960s. Since 1993, real wages are up 6.6 percent, after declining 4.3 percent during the Reagan and Bush years.

  • Inflation -- Lowest Since the 1960s. Inflation remains virtually non-existent, with the underlying core rate of inflation at 1.9 percent in 1999 -- the lowest rate since 1965. For 1999, the GDP price index grew only 1.4 percent. In the last two years, GDP inflation was lower than at any time since 1963.

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