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US bishops’ Labor Day statement focuses on youth unemployment

Catholic World News - August 14, 2014

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has issued its annual statement for Labor Day.

Citing St. John XXIII, St. John Paul II, and Pope Francis, Archbishop Thomas Wenski, the chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, spoke of the importance of work, the challenge of unemployment, and the relatively high unemployment rates among young adults worldwide.

“Meaningful and decent work is vital if young adults hope to form healthy and stable families,” said Archbishop Wenski. “Although not the only reason, many young adults, because they are unable to find decent work, are delaying marriage and starting a family.”

“What would our communities, parishes, and country look like if we all recommitted to each other and the common good?” he added. “If, instead of lamenting the dwindling hopes of our young people, we create institutions, relationships, and an economy that nurture human flourishing? If, instead of bickering about ideologies, people acknowledged the human dignity of others and worked together?”

At the conclusion of the statement, Archbishop Wenski called for immigration reform “to stop the exploitation and marginalization of millions of people.”

He added, “Supporting policies and institutions that create decent jobs, pay just wages, and support family formation and stability will also honor the dignity of workers. Raising the minimum wage, more and better workforce training programs, and smarter regulations that minimize negative unintended consequences would be good places to start.”

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