Statement on the United States Unemployment Rate

December 3, 1982

The unemployment reported by the Labor Department today represents a continuing tragedy. This news makes it more important than ever that we press forward in our efforts to create a solid, sustained recovery.

We have already laid a foundation for that recovery, and we have seen many signs of progress: Inflation is down, interest rates are down, and the leading economic indicators have been up for 6 of the past 7 months. Unfortunately, unemployment has traditionally been one of the last indicators to fall, but as the recovery comes on stream, we can expect to make progress on that front, too.

In the meantime, it is imperative that the Congress and the executive branch work closely and constructively together to hold down spending and encourage greater economic growth. I am encouraged by the progress this week on my transportation initiative, and I am hopeful that we will see similar progress in the next several days on our bill creating enterprise zones.