(WHTM) – On this Labor Day Weekend abc27 was wondering what is the State of Labor in Pennsylvania.

The United States Labor Department released numbers this week and there were 187,000 new jobs in August and unemployment nationwide ticked up from 3.5 to 3.8%.

Here in Pennsylvania, there is great optimism among workers. Lots of federal infrastructure money has been pouring into Pennsylvania and broadband money will follow.

Construction unions say the next 5 to 7 years look pretty bright economically. A concern is attracting more people into the trades.

Yes, there were eyebrows raised at the 22% raises over four years that public sector unions just got but they insist it’s needed progress.

Rob Bair, President of Pennsylvania Building Trades said, “It sounds like a big number but what we learned after the pandemic is the American worker has been undervalued and people are now understanding look more is more and government only works when you have people working for the government if you want to attract and retain the best and the brightest you have to pass commensurate wages and salary that will attract those people and keep them.”

For those parents drowning in college debt, Robs says the apprenticeship programs will pay people to learn. No tuition. And they’ll come out with jobs paying $60,000 and $70,000 a year plus health care and pension.