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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release September 2, 1994


On the eve of Labor Day in 1994, the U.S. economy continues to enjoy healthy growth in incomes and employment. Since last Labor Day, real GDP has increased 4.0 percent, personal incomes have increased 6.3 percent, inflation has remained subdued, and the economy has produced 3.1 million new jobs, 94 percent of them in the private sector.

Today's employment report shows that the economy created an additional 179,000 new jobs in August. The manufacturing sector added an impressive 32,000 jobs--the eighth consecutive monthly increase, and overtime hours of work in manufacturing returned to their record level posted in April of this year. Since last Labor Day, manufacturing employment has increased by 131,000 jobs, indicating strong growth in this sector of the economy.

According to today's household survey, both employment and the labor force increased by nearly three-quarters of a million people in August, leaving the overall unemployment rate unchanged at 6.1 percent. An unemployment rate at this level is consistent with a high degree of labor and capacity utilization throughout most of the economy. At the same time, there is no sign of an intensification of inflationary pressures in today's report. Since last Labor Day, unit labor costs have posted their smallest annual increase in 29 years.

As the economy continues to absorb its capacity, the Administration forecast anticipates a gradual moderation in the growth rate to a long-run trend consistent with the underlying growth of the labor force and productivity.

As families and workers commemorate Labor Day this year, they can celebrate the solid expansion of the American economy during the past year. Moreover, the economic fundamentals suggest that they can look forward to more good news on Labor Day next year, as the economy remains on course for a sustained, investment-led expansion with declining fiscal deficits and modest inflation.