Proclamation: National Older Workers Employment Week, 2000 (9/22/00)
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release                          September 22, 2000


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                              A PROCLAMATION

     As a Nation, we are growing older, and so is our workforce.  Today,
there are 49 million workers in America aged 45 years or older --
approximately 35 percent of America's labor force -- and by 2008, that
number will grow to 62 million, or about 40 percent of the workforce.  One
in four Americans between the ages of 65 and 69 has at least a part-time
job, and 80 percent of the "baby boom" generation intends to keep working
past the age of 65.  Increasingly, older Americans want to work, and for
most, the opportunity to work adds not only to the length but also to the
quality of their lives.

     The abilities, experience, and strong work ethic of these older
Americans are a precious resource for our Nation in today's strong economy.
With the unemployment rate at its lowest level in more than a generation,
businesses urgently need to hire more workers if they are to keep pace with
the demand for their products and services.  Too often overlooked or
under-utilized, older workers offer employers a broad and diverse pool of

     Recognizing the importance of older workers to our Nation and our
economy, the Congress unanimously passed, and I was proud to sign into law,
the Senior Citizens' Freedom to Work Act of 2000.  This legislation
eliminates the Social Security retirement earnings test, a provision that
withheld benefits from Americans working beyond the age of 65.  It allows
older Americans to enjoy the extra income and personal fulfillment that
work offers without being penalized, and it ensures that companies facing
labor shortages will have a greater supply of experienced workers.  The Act
will also help our economy grow without inflation and encourage Americans
to work longer, thus con-tributing more to the tax base and to the Social
Security trust fund at precisely the time when the percentage of younger
workers paying into the system will be decreasing.

     Older Americans have contributed much to the life of our Nation and to
the extraordinary growth and prosperity we enjoy today.  We owe them our
respect and gratitude; we also owe them the opportunity to continue working
as long as they desire.  Through laws such as the Older Americans Act,
which I have called on the Congress to reauthorize and strengthen, the Age
Discrimina-tion Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and now the
Senior Citizens' Freedom to Work Act, the United States Government
guarantees that opportunity.  And, through the Senior Community Service
Employment Program at the Department of Labor and the Administration on
Aging at the Department of Health and Human Services, older workers have
access to the programs and services they need to continue making their own
vital contributions to the American workplace.

     NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States
of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and
laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 24 through
September 30, 2000, as National Older Workers Employment Week.  I urge
employers across the Nation to recognize the energy and ability of older
Americans and to develop new strategies for recruiting and utilizing older
workers.  I also encourage public officials responsible for job placement,
training, and related services to intensify their efforts throughout the
year to assist older workers in finding suitable jobs and training.

     IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
twenty-second day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand, and
of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and

                              WILLIAM J. CLINTON

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