Remarks on the Nation's Economy

 

October 7, 1988

 

The President. Good morning. I hope I can be heard over that, because I have good news. This morning we've received good news of another important step in the march for new jobs in this country. The unemployment rate in September dropped two-tenths of a percent to 5.4 percent for all civilian workers, and 5.3 percent when you include the military.

 

But these numbers are just shorthand for the more important fact that 255,000 persons got new jobs in September and 18 million new jobs have been created since the recovery began in 1982. We've talked about the record 70 months of economic expansion, but these figures tell the real story that people can understand. They mean paychecks and school clothes and families that can plan a brighter future. And that's what George Bush and Dan Quayle stand for, and it's what the administration has worked for the last 8 years.

 

Our economy is on a very sound basis. Inflation remains low and under control. We are growing in a sound and sensible fashion and more of our citizens are going to work every day. You all know the litany of high interest rates, high inflation, and high unemployment when our administration took over. And you know the changes that have been made since then. And there's no truer marker of the total impact of these changes than new jobs and the feeling of confidence that Americans have in our economy, our policies, and our future. End of statement.

 

Hostages in Lebanon

 

Q. Mr. President, the story persists, sir, that the U.S. is making some sort of deal for the hostages. This time it's through the Koreans, they say.

 

The President. Bill [Bill Plante, CBS News], I can't take any questions. What I'm expecting to see now is for all of you to do what I had to do in several pictures I made as a reporter -- turn, run for the phones, and say, ``Look, I got a story that will crack this town wide open.''

 

Q. I'll make you a deal. We'll use that one if you'll answer one question.

 

The President. I have to go now.

 

Note: The President spoke at 10:10 a.m. at the South Portico of the White House, prior to his departure for Sterling Heights, MI. In his opening remarks, the President referred to the noise from the helicopter.