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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                        (Skaneateles, New York)

For Immediate Release September 1, 2000


Warm greetings to all Americans as we celebrate Labor Day and honor the millions of working men and women across our nation whose achievements have brought us to this moment of unprecedented economic strength and prosperity.

When I took office in 1993, I committed my Administration to putting in place an agenda to get America back on its economic feet while restoring the values of opportunity, responsibility, and community. I believed that we could create a strong economy that was pro-labor as well as pro-business; that was pro-family as well as pro-work. I am proud that we succeeded in raising the minimum wage, signing into law the Family and Medical Leave Act, and cutting taxes for millions of low-income working families by doubling the earned income tax credit. And today, thanks to the hard work, creativity, and determination of the American people, our country is enjoying the longest economic expansion in our history, with more than 22 million new jobs, the lowest unemployment rate in 30 years, the lowest African American and Hispanic unemployment rates ever recorded, the lowest female unemployment rate in 40 years, and the smallest welfare rolls in 35 years.

But there is still much to do if we are to build the future we want for our children. We must use this rare moment of peace and prosperity to protect Social Security, modernize Medicare, provide prescription drug coverage for our nation's senior citizens, and enact a strong and enforceable Patients' Bill of Rights. We must raise the minimum wage again so that all our workers are able to earn a decent income. We must bridge the digital divide and encourage new investments in underserved regions so that every American community shares in the promise and opportunity of today's dynamic economy. And we must provide America's children with the quality education they need to reach their full potential.

The 20th century was a time of enormous growth and progress for our nation, in large part because of the skill, imagination, and dedication of America's workers. As we celebrate the first Labor Day of this new century, let us honor and thank the working men and women of our nation by building on their accomplishments to create a brighter future for all our people.

Best wishes for a wonderful holiday.


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