Question-and-Answer Session With Reporters on the Unemployment Rate

February 4, 1983

Q. Happy birthday.

Q. Happy birthday.

Q. Is the recession over?

Q. [Inaudible] -- organized labor said the jobless rate went down only because -- --

Q. He didn't hear you.

Q. Mr. President -- --

The President. I won't stop, but what?

Q. [Inaudible] -- says the jobless rate only went down because 600,000 people just stopped looking for work. What do you say about that?

The President. Well, there is another confirming fact that disputes that. And that is that the Bureau of Labor Statistics also contacts a very sizable proportion of the business institutions in the country. And those that they contacted replied that they have increased employment by more than 300,000 people.

Q. Mr. President, is the recession over?

The President. What?

Q. Is the recession over?

Note: The exchange began at 3:35 p.m. at the South Portico of the White House as the President was leaving for Camp David, Md.