Not since the Great Depression has America faced a Labor Day such as this year’s. An international pandemic and extended government shut downs of businesses has cost millions of American workers their jobs and closed many commercial enterprises permanently.

Thanks to extended help from the federal government, many families are able to make ends meet until a recovery takes place.

However there are good economic signs that should give us hope The U.S. added 1.8 million jobs in July and another 1.4 million jobs in August as unemployment fell to 8.4 percent. The unemployment number is still a long way from the virtual full employment the U.S. had  achieved before the pandemic hit this year, but we are headed in the right direction. Our economic recovery will go quicker as more governments loosen the shackles on business, allowing more people to get back to work.

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I know many of you approach Labor Day with trepidation. Will there be a second phase of the virus? How soon will a vaccine be available? When can we resume our normal lives?  Battling the unknown can often lead to despair, but we must remember that we have history on our side.

Americans have always been extraordinarily resilient and inventive in the face of challenges. Throughout our history we have been brilliantly creative and dynamical hard-working people.  Ordinary Americans always manage to do extraordinary things on behalf of their fellow man.  And because of that, America has overcome every obstacle, and emerged from each crisis stronger and better than before. We have overcome the Civil War, the depression of the 1870’s; two world wars, the Spanish Flu pandemic, the Great Depression and murderous international terrorists.

There is no reason to believe we will not come out of this crisis as good or better than before – as long as we work together. We cannot allow ourselves to be divided by those who spread the disease of divisiveness. We must remember that the USA is one very great nation that was built by men and women who stood up to adversity and conquered it.

We will do so again. And by our next celebration of Labor Day, we will be applauding the contributions of America’s workforce as it leads us to renewed prosperity and hope.

Please enjoy the holiday weekend safely

BettyLou DeCroce

Assemblywoman (District 26)