PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Thousands of people flocked downtown to watch and participate in one of the largest Labor Day parades in the country Monday.
However, a weakened job market left a different feel to this year’s parade.
The weather for the parade was dark and dreary, which was much like the employment outlook for the state.
“For about a half-million Pennsylvanians on any given month for the last two years, it’s not been that happy of a Labor Day as they’ve not been able to find work,” Frank Syder with the AFL/CIO said.
Traditionally, this year’s parade had thousands of marchers, marching bands and plenty of color and sound.
While today was meant to be a celebration, there was a sense of frustration among workers.
“They were saying the job situation in America won’t turn around until 2017. I can’t wait that long,” Shawn Wygand said.
“It’s difficult only because a lot of our rights have been taken away. We have to fight every day to maintain what we have. It’s hard,” Boilermakers Union member Pete Canovali said.
Record unemployment and a faltering economy had many marchers unsure of what is next for their job.
This year’s motto for the parade was, “Stand up and fight back.”
“Hopefully the unions will be strong again one day but right now they are having their problems,” one man said.
Officials estimated that 70,00 people either participated or came out to watch the parade.