THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
AMERICA'S ECONOMY IS ON THE RIGHT TRACK:
15 Million New Jobs, Wages Are Rising, and Unemployment Down To A 25-Year Low March 6, 1998
Today's Report Shows That Wages Are Rising, Unemployment Is Down To A 25-Year Low, and 310,000 New Jobs Were Created Last Month Alone. In 1992, the American economy was barely creating jobs 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. Today's report shows that this economic strategy is working for America's workers.
Unemployment Down to 4.6 Percent -- its Lowest Level in 25 Years. In 1992, the unemployment rate was 7.5 percent. Today, the unemployment rate is 4.6 percent -- its lowest level since 1973. The unemployment rate has been below 6 percent for 42 consecutive months and at or below 5 percent for 11 months now with no signs of inflationary pressures. Over 15 Million New Jobs Under President Clinton. Since President Clinton took office, the economy has added more than 15 million new jobs -- a faster annual rate of job growth (2.6 percent per year) than any Republican Administration in 75 years. Fastest Real Wage Growth in Over 20 Years. Last month, average hourly earnings increased 0.6 percent, and over the past year, average hourly earnings have increased 4.1 percent -- far faster than the rate of inflation. In 1997, real average hourly earnings increased 2.3 percent -- that's the fastest real wage growth since 1976. After falling in the 12 years before President Clinton took office, real earnings are up since January 1993. Highest Share of New Jobs in Private Sector in 75 Years. Since President Clinton took office, the private sector of the economy has added nearly 14 million new jobs -- with more than 3.0 million jobs added in the past year. Under President Clinton, 93 percent of the 15 million new jobs have been in the private sector -- that's the highest percentage since Warren G. Harding was President in the early 1920s. Turning the Corner in Basic American Industries. Under President Clinton, basic American industries, such as construction and autos, are coming back and leading the world. 1.4 Million New Construction Jobs. After losing 667,000 jobs in construction during the previous four years, nearly 1.4 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. 149,000 New Automobile Jobs -- Leading The World Once Again. After losing 35,000 jobs in the auto industry during the Bush years, we have 149,000 new auto jobs under President Clinton. For the first time since the 1970s, America has led the world in auto production for four years in a row. 614,000 New Manufacturing Jobs. After losing 2.1 million manufacturing jobs during the 12 years before President Clinton took office, the economy has created 614,000 new manufacturing jobs since January 1993. Booming Job Growth Has Helped Lower Unemployment for African Americans and Hispanics. Under President Clinton, the African-American unemployment rate has fallen from 14.1 percent to 9.7 percent. And the Hispanic unemployment rate has dropped from 11.3 percent to 6.8 percent -- as low as it's ever been. But we still have more work to do, since these unemployment rates are above the national average. With Low Unemployment, Core Inflation Is The Lowest In 32 Years. In 1997, the core inflation rate, excluding the volatile food and energy components, was just 2.2% -- that's its lowest level since 1965.