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Letters to the Secretaries of Labor and Commerce on the Unemployment Record for March.

April 01, 1965

Dear Bill:

I am very pleased and gratified by the report today on the unemployment record for March.

You and your Department deserve very considerable credit, especially for the contribution made by your programs for retraining, job development and other such activities. Results are showing, I believe, in the fact that the number of long-term unemployed is down to the lowest level since March 1957--and jobs are being found for those who have been out of work the longest.

I know it is not necessary for me to urge you on in your determined effort to bring our unemployment rate even lower--and keep it down. But I do want you and all in your Department to know that you have my full-time support to do all that we can and should do to succeed in this No. 1 objective. Nothing has a higher priority in the goals of this Administration than assuring every American who wants to work a useful, needed job he or she can fill. That was the purpose of our tax cut last year--it is a major objective of the effort we are making this year on education, health and all our other programs.

We are a rich, strong and abundant society and we must not allow any of our people to be left behind--or left out. I am confident that labor, business and government can continue to work together responsibly and successfully to sustain our economic expansion and fulfill our free system's great and growing economic promise.



[Honorable W. Willard Wirtz, Secretary of Labor, Washington, D.C.]

Dear Jack:

Today's report on our March unemployment rate--down to the lowest level in 89 months at 4.7 percent--is very good news. The business community can be very proud of its contribution to this record.

When we set out to ease the tax burden last year, we did so in the confidence that businessmen would step up their efforts to increase the number of jobs--and keep our record economic expansion going. The fact that 1.7 million more Americans were at work last month than a year ago clearly confirms our confidence. I hope you will express to all who have shared in this responsible and remarkable performance my personal appreciation and congratulations.

While the unemployment rate figure is encouraging, I hope there will be no inclination to settle for this level. We have, after all, been able to bring the jobless rate for married men down to 2.5 percent, an eighty-year low for March. I am confident that continuing alert, vigorous efforts by business, labor and government can make the overall unemployment rate far better than we have yet achieved.

In the final analysis, the real test of our free enterprise system is our ability to provide jobs for all our people--regardless of race, sex, geography or previous opportunity. I am sure America's business leaders will respond to this challenge and help carry forward the effort to overcome the difficult employment problems which still beset us.



[Honorable John T. Connor, Secretary of Commerce, Washington, D.C.]

Lyndon B. Johnson, Letters to the Secretaries of Labor and Commerce on the Unemployment Record for March. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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