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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release October 2, 1998
                16.7 Million New Jobs Created Under 
             President Clinton and Vice President Gore

                         October 2, 1998

Today, We Received New Evidence That America's Economy Remains Solid: Unemployment Has Remained Below 5 Percent for 15 Months in A Row For The First Time in 28 Years; More than 16.7 Million New Jobs Have Been Added Since January 1993; And Wages Have Risen At Twice The Rate of Inflation. In 1992, the American economy was barely creating jobs, wages were stagnant, and the unemployment rate was 7.5 percent. Five years ago, President Clinton put in place a bold new three-part economic strategy for cutting the deficit to help reduce interest rates and spur business investment; investing in education, health care, science and technology so that America is prepared to meet the challenges of the 21st century; and opening markets abroad so that American workers have a fair chance to compete and win across the globe. However, today's report also contains evidence that America's economy is being affected by the global financial crisis -- and that is why the President announced new steps today to help address that crisis.

16.7 Million New Jobs Created Under President Clinton and Vice President Gore. Last month, 69,000 new jobs were added to the American economy. Since President Clinton took office, the economy has added 16.7 million new jobs -- that's more new jobs in 68 months than were created during the entire 96 months of the Reagan Administration (16.7 million under Clinton vs. 16.0 million under Reagan).

Unemployment Was 4.6 Percent in September -- Below 5 Percent For 15 Months In A Row. In 1992, the unemployment rate was 7.5 percent. In September, the unemployment rate was 4.6 percent. And for the first time in 28 years, the unemployment rate has been below 5 percent for 15 months in a row.

Highest Share of New Jobs in Private Sector in 75 Years. Since President Clinton and Vice President Gore took office, the private sector of the economy has added 15.6 million new jobs -- with over 2.6 million jobs added in the past year. Under President Clinton and Vice President Gore, 93 percent of the 16.7 million new jobs have been in the private sector -- that's the highest percentage since Warren G. Harding was president in the early 1920s.

Fastest Real Wage Growth in More Than Two Decades. Last month, average hourly earnings increased 0.1 percent. Over the past year, average hourly earnings have risen 4.0 percent -- that's more than twice the rate of inflation. After adjusting for inflation, wages have increased 2.8 percent in the past 12 months -- that's the fastest real wage growth in more than two decades.

Construction Jobs Are Coming Back. Under President Clinton and Vice President Gore, construction and manufacturing jobs are coming back. After losing 662,000 jobs in construction during the previous four years, nearly 1.5 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.

Manufacturing Jobs Are Up, But Are Being Hurt From The Asian Financial Crisis. After losing 2.1 million manufacturing jobs between 1981 and 1992, the economy has created 579,000 new manufacturing jobs since January 1993. However, manufacturing is being hurt by the Asian financial crisis. In the auto industry, after losing 46,000 jobs during the Bush years, 151,000 new jobs have been created under the Clinton-Gore Administration despite the effects of the Asian financial crisis. And for the first time since the 1970s, America has led the world in auto production for four years in a row.

Record-Low Unemployment for African Americans and Hispanics. Under President Clinton and Vice President Gore, the African-American unemployment rate has fallen from 14.1 percent to 9.2 percent -- one of its lowest levels on record (data first collected in 1972). And the Hispanic unemployment rate has dropped from 11.3 percent to 7.4 percent -- also one of its lowest levels ever. But there is more work to do since these unemployment rates are well above the national average.

Inflation -- Lowest Since 1961. In the second quarter, the GDP price index rose 0.9 percent at an annual rate. Over the past year, inflation rose just 1.0 percent -- making it the smallest increase in 37 years.