Proclamation 5791 -- National Productivity Improvement Week, 1988

 

April 6, 1988

 

By the President of the United States of America

 

A Proclamation

 

Our Nation has long enjoyed a high standard of living, thanks especially to our high productivity, which has accounted for about half our economic growth over the last century. Productivity affects our total output of goods and services, helps keep inflation low, and is vital to our ability to compete in U.S. and foreign markets.

 

Until the mid-1960s, overall U.S. labor productivity grew at a commendable average rate of 3.2 percent each year. But it slowed to under 2 percent in the 1970s, and last year increased by just under 1 percent. Fortunately, productivity in manufacturing continued at a robust rate and increased by 3.3 percent in 1987. However, the rate of growth in the service sector, which accounts for more than 70 percent of U.S. employment, was less than 1 percent in 1987.

 

We must accelerate productivity growth in the service and other sectors. Good performance in productivity is especially necessary now that we are in world markets for most goods and services, and because many of our foreign competitors can target the U.S. market using state-of-the-art technology.

 

Government's job is to create a healthy climate in which private sector productivity growth can flourish. We have done this. We have adopted sound policies to reform internal laws, to encourage inventors to create better products and processes, to reduce burdensome regulations, to stimulate investment in research and development, and to strengthen private sector access to federally funded science and technology. These achievements provide a solid foundation for the private sector to build upon.

 

Our businesses and their individual leaders must continue their efforts to increase productivity by adopting new technologies and management innovations and by better strategic planning in the increasingly competitive international context.

 

Productivity is now intertwined with quality. To encourage U.S. companies to strengthen their quality, I have endorsed a major initiative, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, that will honor U.S. manufacturing firms, service companies, and small businesses for improving their goods and services. This initiative pays fitting tribute to a great Secretary of Commerce who fostered improvement during every assignment he took on.

 

To encourage Americans to understand the importance of productivity growth to their economic welfare, the Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 223, has designated the week of April 10 through April 16, 1988, as National Productivity Improvement Week and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this event.

 

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week of April 10 through April 16, 1988, as National Productivity Improvement Week. I call upon the people of the United States and especially our business leaders, educators, workers, and public officials to observe this week with appropriate ceremonies and activities in a spirit of rededication to improving our Nation's productivity.

 

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this sixth day of April, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twelfth.

 

Ronald Reagan

 

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 11:23 a.m., April 7, 1988]