Blaine’s Bulletin: Labor Day
Washington, September 4, 2020
For most of us, Labor Day Weekend means the end of the summer. We use the long weekend to spend time with our families and cook hotdogs and hamburgers in the backyard before the leaves start to turn and we settle into another school year. But the origin of Labor Day has a deeper meaning. The first Monday of September was officially declared “Labor Day” by President Grover Cleveland in 1894 to celebrate the hardworking Americans who make this country great. Celebrating American workers is especially meaningful this year as the coronavirus has turned our economy and the job market upside-down. Over the spring and summer many parents worked from home while performing their new second job: teacher’s assistant. And businesses in every community did everything they could to keep their doors open and workers employed.
Just last week, the United States Department of Labor release the most recent jobs numbers which showed claims for jobless benefits and unemployment are down meaning people are finding jobs and the labor market is improving. The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been dramatic and workers and their families across the country have felt the effects. This is a crisis like our country has never seen and joblessness reached a record high in April. While numbers are improving America continues to get back to work, not everyone has been able to return. For any Missourians seeking help with unemployment, the Missouri Department of Labor can be reached at 800-320-2519 or on their website at labor.mo.gov. They can advise you with filing claims, figuring out eligibility and connecting you with professionals who can help.
Dealing with the coronavirus has also allowed for a deeper appreciation among Americans for the hardworking people who work in manufacturing and supply chains. The virus and mass shutdowns nationwide have shown us never to take our country’s workers for granted. While we were used to modern comforts like clicking a mouse and having items show up on our doorstep two days later or going to a grocery store with shelves that were constantly fully stocked, the coronavirus no longer made these things possible. At a larger level, we learned that we had become almost entirely reliant on China for the production of our pharmaceuticals and personal protective equipment. Cheap prices and easy accessibility caused us to look past the origin of our products, but we now know in order to ensure Americans have the products we need, the products must be made by Americans. Just like the trucks built in Wentzville and windows made in Freeburg, the safety of our medication should be trusted to U.S. workers.
Fortunately, our country’s job numbers are getting better and America is getting back to work. Following a difficult few months, this weekend is a great time to gather with family and neighbors to catch up on each other’s summers and discuss a more excited fall to come. Please stay safe and have a very happy Labor Day.