I can’t help but feel for the ones who are struggling.
Labor Day is a bittersweet day for me this year. First, it happens to fall on my birthday. Nice of the government to declare my birthday a national holiday! Second, it is a day purposed to celebrate the American worker.
Yet because job seekers have my heart right now, I’m having a hard time celebrating.
On a holiday designed to celebrate the social and economic achievements of American workers we have Sarah who has taken a job she knows will make her miserable because she has bills to pay.
On a day showcasing the contributions of American workers to the well-being of this country, Brad is wondering how he can maintain his family’s well-being after three years of unemployment.
On a day focused on workers, those who sacrificed their life and families to work for our nation’s safety are struggling to make a meaningful transition.
And none of those are cause to celebrate.
It is important to celebrate the achievements of American workers. Like no other country in the world, we have a real opportunity to make a difference because of the work we do. But we would be remiss to forget all of our fellow countrymen who are still waiting for their next chance to make that difference. Those who are struggling because for one reason or another, our workforce has overlooked them.
According to the most recent Employment Situation report released in August 2014, there are nearly 10 million individuals still unemployed in this country. Of those, 638,000 are veterans, a number which will only continue to increase as more and more are released from active duty. Additionally, over 3 million have been unemployed for more than 27 weeks.
These numbers are still staggering. I get that they are decreasing year over year, but they are still staggering. (We could also argue why they are decreasing and how a decrease is not always reflective of positive movement, but we won’t….today).
While you are at your BBQ today or relaxing on the couch celebrating the deserved day off from your work, take a moment to think about those who are still looking. Who would give anything to have work to deserve a break from. If there is something you can do to help, do it. If all you can offer are positive thoughts or prayers, do that.
The plight of job seekers is not getting easier. Let’s celebrate, but not forget their struggle.
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