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March 5, 1999

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We can now say with confidence that our peacetime economic expansion is the longest in history. And it is different than most past expansions. This time, the expansion is inclusive, not exclusive. This time, our prosperity belongs to the many, not merely to the few. This time, a rising tide truly does lift all boats.

-- President Bill Clinton

Today, unemployment numbers released by the Department of Labor show that the American economy created 275,000 jobs in February alone, and the unemployment rate was 4.4% for the month. Under the Clinton-Gore Administration, the American economy has now created more than 18 million new jobs.

The American Economy Remains Strong Under The Leadership Of President Clinton And Vice President Gore. In 1992, the American economy was barely creating jobs, wages were stagnant, and the unemployment rate was 7.5 percent. Six 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.

  • 275,000 New Jobs In February Alone -- 18.1 Million New Jobs Under President Clinton. Last month alone, 275,000 more jobs were added to the American economy. Since President Clinton and Vice President Gore took office, the economy has added 18.1 million new jobs;
  • Unemployment At 4.4 Percent In February. In 1992, the unemployment rate was 7.5 percent. In February 1999, the unemployment rate was just 4.4 percent. Now, the unemployment rate has been below 5% for 20 months in a row;
  • Highest Share Of New Jobs In The Private Sector In 50 Years. Since President Clinton and Vice President Gore took office, the private sector of the economy has added 16.8 million new jobs -- with 2.4 million jobs added in the past year. Under President Clinton and Vice President Gore, 93 percent of all new jobs were in the private sector -- the highest percentage in 50 years;
  • Fastest Real Wage Growth In More Than Two Decades. Over the past year, average hourly earnings have risen 3.6 percent -- at twice the rate of inflation. After adjusting for inflation, wages have increased almost 2.5 percent in the past 12 months -- the fastest real wage growth in more than two decades;
  • Construction Jobs Are Coming Back. Under President Clinton and Vice President Gore, construction jobs are coming back: after losing 662,000 jobs in construction during the previous four years, more than 1.7 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;
  • Unemployment Remains Historically Low for African Americans and Hispanics. Under President Clinton and Vice President Gore, the African-American unemployment rate has fallen from 14.1 percent in January 1993 to 8.3 percent in February 1999 -- one of its lowest levels on record (data first collected in 1972). And the Hispanic unemployment rate has dropped from 11.3 percent in January 1993 to 6.7 percent in February 1999 -- one of its lowest levels ever recorded (data first collected in 1973);
  • Inflation Is At Its Lowest Since The 1950s. In 1998, the GDP's measure of inflation rose a mere 1.0 percent at an annual rate -- its lowest level since the 1950s.

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