Employment help wanted

An estimated 14 million Americans had Labor Day off Monday, but no job to go to on Tuesday.

Tomorrow, President Barack Obama is scheduled to address a joint Congress and the nation to outline his jobs plan. The question is if his proposals will be something practical or offer just another speech to justify meaningless activity or growth in bureaucratic government operations.

Unemployment in the United States has become a matter of urgency not seen since the Great Depression. August of this year saw zero jobs added in any category, a feat unmatched since February 1945.

The Obama administration claims improvement as unemployment numbers declined from 9.7 percent in August 2010, to 9.1 percent in August 2011. Yet, during the same 12-month time frame, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there was an actual decline in active private sector employment by 200 jobs.

The highest increase in employment thus far in the Obama presidency occurred during March, April and May 2010, when 564,000 Census workers were added to the taxpayer payroll. Consequently, the largest single month drop in jobs came when the Census was complete and those enumerators could mark themselves off the jobs registry.

Adding jobs with government positions might address temporary or special projects, but that is no long-term solution.

We would like to see the president and Congress back genuine hiring incentives through tax credits for private industry, reduce entitlements that generate a welfare-as-employment mentality, lift select restrictions on U.S. businesses, restore offshore drilling to pre-BP spill levels, aggressively promote domestically produced goods and services both within the U.S. and as exports for international trade, offer incentives to bring jobs outsourced to locations where lower accepted wages translate to higher CEO salaries back to America, and utilize cooperative efforts between educational institutions and private business that generate skill development for current needs and the future growth.

The first federal recognition of Labor Day in 1894 was offered as a way for the government to reconcile with the labor movement following the Pullman strikes. Since then it has evolved into a national day, during which many still work.

As we pass our 117th Labor Day, it is time for the government to reconcile with 14 million Americans and act by assisting those who would gladly trade another involuntary day off for a life of full employment.