Hopefully many people had a relaxing Labor Day weekend and were able to get away from the stresses of work. My weekend was pretty good. In fact, I kept telling myself how fortunate I am to have a job and I’m able to have Labor Day off and return to work on Tuesday. There are many people out there, especially in the construction industry, who don’t have that luxury.

On Sept. 2, the Friday of Labor Day weekend, the Associated General Contractors of America sent out a press release discussing the construction employment numbers for August. They are for lack of a better word, grim. The industry unemployment rate is at 13.5 percent. The AGC is reporting that for the last year and a half, construction employment numbers have been virtually unchanged. As the industry starts to pick up jobs, they are lost the next month creating a pattern where there has been little gain.

With that bad news on Friday, it was nice to get some good news on Tuesday morning. While checking out news stories online, I came across an interesting article in the Orange Leader, which serves the areas of Orange, Texas. The paper wrote an article about sheet metal workers celebrating Labor Day, and how many of the local unions around the area are taking the time to remember what the holiday is all about. A business representative for the union said that many people have forgotten what Labor Day is all about. It’s become known as a day for big box stores to have sales. But for the unions in Orange, Texas, it’s a reminder of how far the working man has come. Labor Day is a time to appreciate not just having a job, but the benefits that come with having a job, such as an eight-hour work day and vacation.

Go here if you’d like to read the article in the Orange Leader. It’s great to be reminded that the benefits we have now are benefits that workers before us fought for. Go here to read the article.