On Labor Day we recognize workers across our great state and nation and honor their sacrifice, dedication, and commitment. 

Our workers keep our families healthy, our children educated, our food supply stocked, and keep our economy thriving. 

This Labor Day, much like last year, we understand how critical essential workers like doctors, teachers, nurses, custodians, first responders, and food supply workers are to our daily lives.

This year, I would also like to recognize our electricity linemen for the critical role they play in restoring power to our lives after a natural disaster. All these workers make an active decision every day that the health and well-being of their community is worth the risk they face in their jobs.

Last year at this time, Texas had an unemployment rate of 8.3%, or almost 1.2 million Texans without a job. That was already an improvement from the all high 13.5% in April 2020 when the peak of the Covid-19 impact occurred. 

Just recently, the Texas Workforce Commission announced that the Texas unemployment rate is now at 6.2% and that our state has added a total of 714,800 jobs since July 2020. While we still have much work to do to continue decreasing the rate to where we were before the pandemic, the improvements have been significant.

Just as important as it is to recognize our workers on Labor Day, we also recognize our employers. We appreciate all our businesses in Texas, from our mom-and-pop stores to the biggest corporations. These entities currently employ 14 million Texans and are the backbone of our economy. Texas is still one of the best places in our country for businesses. For the 17th year in a row, Texas has again been named the Best State for Business by Chief Executive Magazine.

Our workers and employers — Texans, are hardworking and refuse to give up. As we continue working together to recover from the pandemic, Winter Storm Uri, hurricanes, and other disasters, we must make sure we are looking out for each other. None of us want to go back to April 2020. We are not yet on the other side of Covid and the Delta variant. We can show our support to our businesses and workers, especially the healthcare workforce, by slowing the spread of the virus. That includes getting vaccinated, wearing masks, social distancing, and washing our hands. The sooner we can put Covid behind us, the more quickly our economy can thrive.

The impact of the Texas worker is felt both at home and abroad and it is because of their sweat, dedication, and perseverance that our state and nation is second to none. Labor Day is special to our families and our country and a day to recognize all our workers that make Texas and the U.S.A. a great place to live and raise our families.

Editor’s Note: The above guest column was penned by state Sen. Juan Hinojosa of McAllen. The column first appeared in an electronic newsletter published by the senator. It appears in The Rio Grande Guardian International News Service with the permission of the author. Hinojosa can be reached by email via: [email protected]

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