Labor Day spotlights importance of having job

Labor Day declared National Holiday by Congress in 1894

One area resident celebrated Labor Day as a full-time employee for the first time in three years.

Michelle Henn is a working, single mom. But that’s not how it always was. Due to having to care for her three young children, she was unemployed from 2012 to April of 2015. Now, back in the workforce, Henn joins the opposite end of the area’s falling unemployment rate.

“More recently its dropped more dramatically, kind of an accelerated rate in the Coulee Region,” said Bill Brockmiller, President of the Western Wisconsin AFL-CIO.

In the month of August, the United States Labor Department reported the country’s unemployment rate fell to 5.1 percent, the lowest it’s been in seven years.

But even with those numbers, and stories like Michelle’s, state lawmakers say there’s still work that needs to be done.

“We can’t rest until every person that wants a job, finds a job and the way to get this economy going again is to strengthen the middle class and that way everyone will benefit from a growing economy,” said Representative Ron Kind.

It’s a benefit that Michelle Henn and many others are seeing first hand, giving them a new reason to celebrate the first Monday in September.

“When I wasn’t working, when I was staying home, I was happy with my kids but then deep down, I was depressed because I felt like I wasn’t doing the best I could for my family so working being able to put food in the house, clothes, diapers, has honestly made me so much happier,” said Henn.