The Clinton-Gore Economic Record


July 5, 1999

After Six and a Half Years, The Results of President Clinton and Vice President Gore's Economic Leadership for the American People Are Clear. Six years ago, President Clinton and Vice President Gore 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. Today, many more Americans are sharing in the new economic prosperity and joining the circle of opportunity.

Deficit Eliminated: The First Budget Surplus in A Generation

  • 1992. The deficit was $290 billion -- the highest dollar level in history. When President Clinton took office, the deficit was projected to hit $357 billion in 1998, and head higher. [Source: CBO]
  • Today. Last year, for the first time since 1969, we had a budget surplus of $70 billion -- the largest dollar surplus on record and the largest as a share of our economy since the 1950s. With the President's plan, we are now on track to also eliminate the nation's publicly held debt by 2015. [Source: OMB]

Faster Economic Growth: 3.5% Per Year

  • 1981-1992. The economic grew an average 1.3 % per year under President Bush and 2.4 % per year during the Reagan-Bush years.
  • Today. Since President Clinton took office, growth has averaged 3.5 % per year. [Source: US Department of Commerce.]

Private-Sector Growth Is Up: 4.0% Per Year

  • 1981-1992. The private sector of the economy grew 2.4 % annually from 1981-1992.
  • Today. The private sector of the economy has grown 4.0 % annually -- that's the fastest rate of private-sector growth since the Johnson Administration. [Source: Based on data from the Department of Commerce]

Productive Business Investment Is Fueling Strong Growth: Fastest Since Kennedy

  • 1988-1992. Real business investment rose just 1.9 % annually during the previous Administration.
  • Today. Real productive business investment is up 12.3 % per year -- faster than any Administration since President Kennedy. [Source: Department of Commerce]

Jobs Are Up: 18.9 Million Created Since January 1993

  • 1988-1992. The private-sector was barely creating jobs and had experienced one of the worst four-year periods of job growth in history.
  • Today. The economy has created more than 18.9 million new jobs since January 1993, with 17 million in the private sector alone, at a faster annual growth rate than any Republican Administration since the 1920s. [Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics]

Unemployment Is Down: The Lowest Rate in 29 Years

  • 1981-1992. The unemployment rate averaged 7.1 % and rose to more than 10 % in 1982 and 1983.
  • Today. In June, the unemployment rate was 4.3 % -- the lowest level in 29 years. The unemployment rate has been below 5 % for 24 consecutive months. [Source: BLS]

Unemployment for African Americans is Lowest On Record

  • 1981-1992: African American unemployment reached 21.2 % in January 1983-- a record high, and never dropped below 10 %.
  • Today. The African-American unemployment rate has fallen from 14.1 % in January 1993 to 7.3 % in June 1999 a record low.

Unemployment for Hispanics Recovered From Record Highs to Achieve Record Lows

  • 1981-1992. Hispanic unemployment hit a record high of 15.7 % in 1982.
  • Today. Hispanic unemployment hit a record low of 5.8% in 1999.

Real Wages Rising Again: Fastest Growth in Two Decades

  • 1981-1992. Real average hourly earnings fell4.3 % under Presidents Reagan and Bush. [Source: BLS.]
  • Today. Real wages grew 6.2 % under President Clinton. In 1998, real wages were up 2.7% -- that's the fastest annual real wage growth in over 20 years.

Real Wages for African Americans Rising Sharply After A Decade of Decline

  • 1981-1991. Median weekly earnings dropped 3%, after adjusting for inflation.
  • Today. Median weekly earnings rose 7.3% between 1996 and 1998, after adjusting for inflation (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Real Wages for Hispanics Rising After A Decade of Sharp Decline

  • 1981-1991. Median weekly earnings dropped 8.5%, after adjusting for inflation.
  • Today. Median weekly earnings rose 3.8% between 1996 and 1998, after adjusting for inflation (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Poverty For African-Americans Dropped to Lowest On Record

  • 1981-1992. Between 1980-1992, the poverty rate for African American remained at 30% or more.
  • Today. The poverty rate for African Americans dropped to 26.5 % -- the lowest on record and lifting 1.8 million people out of poverty since 1993. [Source: Bureau of the Census]

Family Income Up More Than $3,500 Since 1993

  • 1988-1992. Median family income, adjusted for inflation, fell by $1,835, dropping from $43,674 in 1988 to $41,839 in 1992.
  • Today. Since 1993, real median family income has increased by $3,517, rising from $41,051 in 1993 to $44,568 in 1997. [Source: Bureau of the Census]

Welfare Rolls Dropped Dramatically: Lowest Since 1970

  • 1981-1992. The number of welfare recipients increased by almost 2.5 million (a 22 % increase) to 13.6 million people.
  • Today. The number of welfare recipients dropped by almost 5.5 million (a 38% decline) to 8.8 million between 1994 and 1998 the lowest since 1970. (Source: Department of Housing and Urban Development.)

Homeownership Is Up: The Highest in American History

  • 1981-1992. The homeownership rate fell from 65.6 % in the first quarter of 1981 to 63.7 % in the first quarter of 1993. [Source: Bureau of the Census]
  • Today. Two-thirds of American households now own their own home -- the highest percentage in American history. Under President Clinton, more than 7 million families have become new homeowners.

The World's Most Competitive Economy Again

  • 1992. In 1992, the World Economic Forum found that Japan, Germany, Denmark, and Switzerland all had more competitive economies than the United States.
  • Today. In 1994, United States was declared the world's most competitive economy -- for the first time in a decade. The United States remained #1 in 1995, 1996, 1997, and 1998. [Source: World Economic Forum and IMD.]

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