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Message on the Observance of Labor Day, 1998

September 04, 1998

For more than a century, we have set aside this time each year to pay tribute to America's working men and women. We honor the heroes of our past, who built our great cities, bridges, and railways; who cleared the fields and plowed the farms to feed our nation and the world; who climbed down mine shafts and up the skeletons of skyscrapers to keep America growing. We honor those men and women of conscience who fought for fair wages, decent working conditions, and equal opportunity for all.

And we honor workers across America today, who are the heart of our nation and the engine of our dynamic economy. In large part because of their efforts, productivity, and commitment to excellence, our nation is enjoying unprecedented growth and prosperity. Our economy is the best it has been in a generation. Inflation and unemployment are at their lowest levels in nearly 30 years, while real wages are growing at the fastest rate in a quarter-century.

Yet, in the spirit of those who came before us, we must not become self-satisfied or complacent. As we celebrate Labor Day, let us recommit ourselves to raising the minimum wage, to promoting training and continuing education for workers, to providing affordable health care to every family, and to building a stronger national community of people who believe in the value of work and who recognize the importance of maintaining dignity and justice for those who perform it. By doing so, we can make the American Dream a reality for all our people and build a brighter future for our children.

Best wishes to all for a memorable holiday.


William J. Clinton, Message on the Observance of Labor Day, 1998 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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