Aug. 30, 2011 — President Obama said after Labor Day he plans to unveil a new jobs proposal. Cautiously optimistic, we hope his plan will include ways to generate new employment opportunities for the more than 8 percent of Americans who are out of work. It may include an extension of unemployment benefits, which unfortunately too many people have come to rely on to make it from month-to-month.
If anything could get worse, independent sources are now saying that unemployment numbers will stay high until 2014. Lassen County was topping near 12 percent unemployment rates at the beginning of the summer.
The reality comes down to two things: simple facts mixed with bureaucratic nightmares — an oxymoron of sorts. We know California has put many restrictions on employers within the state. Talk to small business owners in town especially those who run businesses that operate machinery and they will tell you some of the environmental restrictions are making it hard to keep their doors open.
Some owners will tell you taxes, worker’s compensation laws and insurance coverage bites into the bottom line impeding raises and the ability to hire more people.
Yet, Lassen County is filled with talented people who want to work and employers who want hire. We also have elected a few people to local government who want to grow the economy of the county. We encourage them to do all they can do to bring this about.
We don’t want to take the Pollyanna approach to life and think we will wake up in a few months to find a thriving city and county. As a rural community based far from a metropolitan center, it may take a few years to see an economic upswing.
Meanwhile, we would like to encourage everyone to have a fun and safe Labor Day weekend. The holiday came into being to celebrate the laborer: the man or woman who works hard every day to provide Americans with everyday, common needs such as roads, garbage collection, working water and sewer plants, groceries, housing and other creature comforts that we take for granted.
On Monday, Sept. 5 gather with your friends and family and enjoy the last official day of summer (as Labor Day also has come to be known), but also take the time to thank the clerk at the local store when you pick up those last bits of groceries. Also, be safe and don’t drink and drive.
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