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On Labor Day: Know things will get better

Too many of our family members, friends, neighbors and, in some cases, former co-workers are in trouble this Labor Day for the holiday to be a time of carefree celebration.

Plenty of room remains for pride in what working men and women accomplish, however. Reflecting upon it gives us reason for optimism, in fact.

Last Labor Day, Americans were riding on top of the world. The U.S. unemployment rate was just 4.8%. Nothing could stop us.

Six months ago, we received a rude awakening. COVID-19 not only stopped us — it shoved us backward. At the peak of the business slowdown linked to the epidemic, more than 25 million American workers had been laid off — or, in some cases, lost their jobs permanently.

We have begun recovering. Since that peak of joblessness in May, roughly 11 million Americans have gotten back to work. That still leaves the unemployment rate at 8.4% — with more than 14 million men and women who are not collecting paychecks.

This Labor Day, whether you are enjoying a holiday from work or wishing your employer would call you back, reflect that things will get better. They will — not because of politicians but rather because of tens of millions of hard-working, ingenious men and women who have made our economy the envy of the world.

COVID-19 has forced temporary adjustments for millions of Americans. It will result in long-term restructuring for many. We’ll get through it, however. We will emerge from this setback stronger than ever economically, for one reason: American working people. We and our ancestors have overcome adversity of many kinds before. We will do it again.

This Labor Day, you can count on that.

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