If you got to stay home from work because of the Labor Day holiday, count your blessings.
A lot of people stayed home because they don't have a job. I spent the day talking to union members who were celebrating Labor Day in various parts of the metro area.
In Belleville, the Labor Day parade ended at Hough Park where there was a big carnival and cookout. There was a festive atmosphere, but labor leaders were under a lot of stress. Thirty percent of union construction workers in the Metro East are unemployed. Labor leaders say they're working hard to find jobs for union members, but others are completing jobs and going on the unemployment rolls as fast as the others come off of it.
A lot of people thought the economy would be growing more robustly by now and companies would be hiring more workers. But uncertainty over the future has us in a vicious cycle where consumers are holding off spending, in case they lose their jobs and business are delaying hiring until consumers start spending. There's a lot of optimism that things will turn around, but until then, many families aren't finding much to celebrate about Labor Day.