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Chapter : Labor and Pension Policy
In many ways the years of the second Reagan administration represented a marked improvement for American workers over the preceding four years. Yet workers, their unions and retirees continued to face strong economic pressures during the period, some of which originated in basic changes in the nation's role in the world economy. Those fundamental shifts provided much of the backdrop for much of the labor-related legislation considered by the 99th and 100th Congresses.
Perhaps most importantly, the years 1985-88 saw a major decline in the unemployment rate. After reaching a post-World War II high of 10.7 percent in 1982, the ranks of the jobless steadily shrank throughout the mid-1980s, falling to 5 percent by the end of 1988 — a ...