BARBERTON, Ohio - A large crowd filled the streets of downtown Barberton to enjoy marching bands, clowns, mounted horse patrols, and of course the American worker, during the annual parade.
"We've been doing this since they've had the parade. It's good to come out and see the people of Barberton," said Michael Might, business manager for IBEW Local 306 in Akron.
However, Might also delivered a serious message during the Labor Day parade. He estimated 100 of the union's 700 members are unemployed.
"It seems to be the norm of the United States right now. Everybody is trying to make a living and they can't," Might said.
Steve Peterman, 42, is one of the electricians without a job. He's raising his two grandchildren and struggling with unemployment checks, which are less than half of what he would normally make.
"The economy is slow. Nobody is building. Nobody is doing the construction. Banks are not giving the money out so work is slow, so I'm sitting at home on unemployment," Peterman said.
A recent report from the U.S. Labor Department revealed Ohio lost the second highest number of jobs in the country in June, just a month after Ohio posted the largest job gains.
Ohio's unemployment rate is 7.2 percent, below the national average of 7.4 percent.
The economic recovery has been too slow and inconsistent as far as Peterman is concerned and he's hoping things pick up.
"More building, more compensation for unemployment because it's not our fault that we're out of work," he said.
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