Sep 6, 2011 12:27 AM by Matt Stafford
Labor Day -- in some years -- can be an overlooked holiday, but with the nation's focus on the economy and jobs it has different meaning this year. Many people were happy to get Monday off from work, but there's also a large group out there of people who are not working and wishing that they were.
"I hear all the time; 'I'm so ready for the weekend,' or, 'Man, I don't want to go to work today,' and I'm thinking, 'I wish I could go to work,'" says Lucia Kelly from Colorado Springs. "I wish I was saying, 'Gosh, I had a hard day at work today.'"
It's a steady number of people in that boat. The most recent unemployment report was unchanged from July to August -- with 9.1 percent of the country out of work. People like Kelly, has been looking for any kind of office work she can find for the last three years -- and not coming up with much.
"You go to networking or job fairs and there's a line around the building, and you're like, 'wow,'" says Kelly. "It's just really tough."
Others see how difficult the job market is too.
"Fewer jobs; you've got to look harder, and the main thing -- absolutely the main thing -- is to never give up hope," says Bob Holmes, director of Homeward Pikes Peak.
Holmes says Homeward Pikes Peak has helped 209 people get out of homelessness and into a job in the last 18 months, and he says the key to this job market is persistence.
"Everyday, every able-bodied person has to go out and make from one to five job contacts, depending upon their ability," Holmes says of their program. "It's just pure effort on the part of our clients, and they get jobs."
Kelly says her husband works, but they really could use two incomes right now; she says she has to keep trying to find a job.
"I have to believe that there's something going to come along, and then we can go from there," says Kelly.
Work continues on the national-front on Tuesday when Congress returns to work; jobs are expected to be the focus. President Obama will address a joint-session of Congress and the nation on Thursday; rolling out his plan for job creation.