Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Statement by the President: Labor Day.

September 04, 1965

ON THIS Labor Day, let us renew our dedication to a system of democracy in which each individual is guaranteed the opportunity to share fully in the benefits and responsibilities of our society.

Together, we in the United States have reached new heights in our quest for individual rights and for general prosperity.

Employment is at an all-time high as more people are working at better jobs for higher wages than ever before.

The record of achievement is impressive.

--Employment this summer rose to an all-time high of nearly 75 million, almost 2 1/2 million more than the year before.

--Unemployment is down substantially from 1964.

--Per capita spendable income, up 3 percent over the previous year, is at a record high of $2,343 in current prices.

--The average take-home pay of a factory worker registered an all-time high of $108.21 in June, nearly $5 more than a year before.

--The economy, setting new marks month after month, is driving upward in the longest unbroken peacetime expansion in more than a century.

The unparalleled progress we have witnessed is the result of the concerted energies and talents of each individual American working together to build a better tomorrow. In this effort no one has taken a more active, more effective role than the working men and women in this country and the free trade union movement.

Since last Labor Day, we have witnessed the enactment by the Congress of landmark legislation to:

--provide medical and hospital care and increased social security benefits for older Americans.

--assure every American, without regard to race, the right to vote and thereby seek to better his lot in life.

--improve educational opportunities for millions of disadvantaged American children.

--extend and expand the Manpower Development and Training Act of 1962 to increase the employability of more citizens.

--promote economic development of Appalachia and to assist the region's large body of poor and jobless residents.

But, in spite of our progress, a large segment of our citizens remain untouched by our prosperity. They still remain the victims of poverty, racial and age discrimination, inadequate education, and technological change.

Our promise of a better America will become fact only when all citizens--not just most--have the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of our free society.

To accomplish these goals, our national purpose must be to: --expand the employment opportunities of the impoverished and the undereducated.

--open more job opportunities for minorities and older citizens.

--expand the opportunities of our young people for education, training, and constructive work experience necessary for our highly-specialized society.

--lessen the impact of technological change for displaced workers and disrupted communities.

--develop and fill new jobs and continue measures to spur our economic growth.

We have the means, as never before, to extend the full benefits of our society to all and to build the Great Society we envision. We have only to exercise the will.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Statement by the President: Labor Day. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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