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Employees and employers should feel a bit more upbeat this Labor Day than in recent years.

The U.S. unemployment rate is 7.4 percent. Contrast that with two years ago: 9.1 percent of the workforce had no work.

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The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 14 million eligible workers needed a job. Six million of those – the long-term unemployed – had been jobless for more than six months and make up 43 percent of the overall unemployed.

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