THE WHITE HOUSE AT WORK
Monday, May 11, 1998
PRESIDENT CLINTON AND VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE:
UNEMPLOYMENT REACHES A 28 YEAR LOW
"It's obvious from this morning's announcement that America's economic engine is truly humming -- lower unemployment, higher wages, more jobs, and low inflation -- proof positive that all across the United States of America, we're headed in the right direction."
- Vice President Al Gore
May 8, 1998
On Friday, Vice President Gore announced that unemployment reached a 28 year low in April, falling to 4.3%. In the month of April alone, our economy added 262,000 new jobs, wages continued to rise, and inflation remained low and stable.
The Strongest Economy In A Generation. President Clinton's three-part economic strategy -- cutting the deficit, investing in our people, opening new markets to American goods and services -- is working for America's families. Since 1993 it has helped bring about:
- The lowest unemployment level in 28 years. In 1992, the unemployment rate was 7.5 percent. In April 1998, the unemployment rate was 4.3 percent -- its lowest level since 1970;
- Over 15 million new jobs. Since President Clinton took office, the economy has added over 15 million new jobs -- with nearly two million new jobs in manufacturing and construction combined;
- An increase in family income of nearly $2,200. Real wages are rising at their fastest pace in 20 years and a typical family's income is up nearly $2,200 since 1993, when adjusted for inflation;
- Home ownership rate is at an historic high of nearly 66 percent. As a result, 67 million Americans own their homes --5.6 million more than when Clinton came to office.
- Opportunity for more Americans to share in the benefits of the new economy. Under President Clinton, the African-American unemployment rate has fallen from 14.1 percent to 9.4 percent in the first quarter of 1998 (the lowest in 25 years), and the Hispanic unemployment rate has dropped from 11.3 percent to 6.9 percent in the first quarter -- as low as it's ever been. But much work remains, since these unemployment rates are above the national average.
The Balanced Budget: Building On Success. The President's agenda builds on this record. His plan calls for projected budget surpluses to be reserved pending Social Security reform, but provides targeted tax relief for child care, education, and the environment -- all fully paid for. These targeted tax relief efforts would:
- Make child care more affordable, increasing the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit for 3 million working families;
- Increase energy efficiency and improve the environment, investing $3.6 billion over the next 5 years in tax cuts for energy efficient purchases and renewable energy;
- Promote expanded retirement savings, making contributions of up to $2,000 to an IRA through a payroll deduction excluded from the employee's income for tax purposes;
- Expand education incentives, helping modernize and build over 5,000 public schools;
- Help develop more affordable housing, expanding the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit by 40 percent, helping lead to an additional 150,000 to 180,000 units of affordable housing over five years.
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