Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release January 7, 2000


THE LOWEST UNEMPLOYMENT RATE SINCE 1969 AND MORE THAN 20 MILLION NEW JOBS. In 1992, when Bill Clinton was elected President, the American economy was barely creating jobs, wages were stagnant, and the unemployment rate was 7.5 percent. His bold, three-part economic strategy focused on three objectives: fiscal discipline, investing in education, health care, science and technology, and opening foreign markets. Today's jobs release provides more evidence that this strategy is working:

The Unemployment Rate Was 4.2 Percent in 1999 -- the Lowest Since 1969. The unemployment rate was 4.1 percent in December bringing the average unemployment rate for 1999 to 4.2 percent -- the lowest since 1969. The unemployment rate has fallen for seven years in a row. It has remained below 5 percent for 30 months in a row. For women the unemployment rate was 4.1 percent -- the lowest since 1953.

African American and Hispanic Unemployment Rates Were the Lowest on Record in 1999. The unemployment rate for African Americans has fallen from 14.2 percent in 1992 to 8.0 percent in 1999 - the lowest rate on record. The unemployment rate for Hispanics has fallen from 11.6 percent in 1992 to 6.4 percent in 1999 -- the lowest rate on record.

20.4 Million New Jobs Created Under the Clinton-Gore Administration. Since 1993, the economy has added 20.4 million new jobs. That's the most jobs ever created under a single Administration - and more new jobs than Presidents Reagan and Bush created during their three terms. Under President Clinton, the economy has added an average of 245,000 jobs per month, the highest of any President on record. This compares to 52,000 per month under President Bush and 167,000 per month under President Reagan.

92 Percent -- 18.8 Million -- of the New Jobs Have Been Created in the Private Sector. Since President Clinton and Vice President Gore took office, the private sector of the economy has added 18.5 million new jobs. That is 92 percent of the 20.4 million new jobs - the highest percentage since Harry S. Truman was President and presiding over the post-World War II demobilization.

Most Rapid Growth in Construction Jobs In 50 Years. After losing 662,000 jobs in construction during the previous four years, 1.9 million new construction jobs have been added during the Clinton-Gore years -- that's a faster annual rate (5.1 percent) than any other Administration since Harry S. Truman was President.

Fastest and Longest Real Wage Growth in Two Decades. In the last 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased 3.7 percent -- faster than the rate of inflation. This marks the fourth consecutive year of real wage growth -- the longest consecutive increase since the early 1970s. Under President Clinton, real wages are up 6.5 percent, after declining 4.3 percent during the Reagan and Bush years. Real wage growth in 1998 reached 2.6 percent -- the largest increase since 1972.

Inflation-- Lowest Since the 1960s. Inflation remains virtually non-existent, with the underlying core rate of inflation at 2.0 percent this year -- the lowest rate since 1965. In the last four quarters the GDP price index has risen 1.3 percent -- the lowest rate of increase since 1963.

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