Labor Day outlook brighter | News, Sports, Jobs – Altoona Mirror

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Sep 5, 2022
Today’s Labor Day observance carries with it many mixed emotions.
While the work situation is better this year in the United States than it was in September 2021, the coronavirus pandemic, this nation’s and other countries’ shaky economic conditions and the numerous uncertainties, anxieties and political strife dogging America and the world make it easy to understand that much could be better — much better.
Still, today’s Labor Day national holiday, with its numerous reasons for feeling somewhat downbeat, cannot erase the observance’s important, primary purpose. That is to honor the American labor movement and the contributions workers have made to the prosperity and strength of this country.
Indeed, America remains a prosperous nation, despite claims to the contrary by naysayers. Despite the problems that exist here, the nation’s strength remains unmatched.
Workers are the backbone of keeping that strength intact, and what they have accomplished over the past year, in terms of helping the nation rebound from the pandemic, cannot be emphasized and praised enough.
Many Americans will recall today that Labor Day 2021 brought with it serious concerns about a troubling attitude on display on many worker fronts.
In its Labor Day editorial of Sept. 6, 2021, the Mirror rightly characterized the attitude embraced by many Americans at that time as disgraceful.
But the troubling nature and scope of the situation in play 12 months ago has been replaced by a better attitude by those physically able and otherwise capable of working, rather than seeking government handouts.
There always will be people content with living by way of the government’s “wallet.” However, increasingly, America has seen businesses’ cries for additional workers diminish — at least at those businesses willing to pay workers at a rate reasonably above minimum wage.
The Sept. 6, 2021, editorial put it this way, and that opinion stands:
“Able-bodied individuals should try to help themselves and their country by getting out from in front of their television sets and seeking a better-paying job, rather than being content with a government handout.”
As the nation was emerging from the worst of the pandemic, AARP, in one of its publications, made the point of offering older Americans help in adapting to the new work environment.
“For older adults, a job is not just a way to make money,” AARP said. “It’s an opportunity to share decades of experience, stay active physically and mentally, and both mentor and learn from colleagues of all ages.”
Additionally, AARP made the point of noting that the organization was providing a number of tools and resources to help people 50 and older build careers with companies that welcome their talents.
“Looking for a new job can be difficult, even at the best of times,” AARP concluded. “But it also can lead you to new pathways for personal and financial fulfillment.”
As many people attend parades and other events today to mark the holiday, they should reflect on whether they truly have helped improve what this day is about or whether they have been an undermining force along the way.
Last year’s Labor Day editorial headline expressed the hope of that day contributing to a new start.
With today’s mixed emotions, a similar sentiment is apropos a year later.
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