A Catholic bishop has urged the public to remember not only the working this Labor Day, but also the unemployed.
"This Labor Day, we should take a moment to pray for all workers and all those without work," said Bishop William F. Murphy, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Social Development of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
He encouraged people to ask God to "stand with the poor and vulnerable in difficult economic times."
Since the start of 2008, some 6.9 million jobs have been cut from payrolls. And in August, the unemployment rate hit a 26-year high despite the month having the lowest job lost figure since August 2008.
The national unemployment rate rose to 9.7 percent in August.
According to a recent study by a Harvard School of Health researcher, those who lose their jobs for no fault of their own are nearly twice as likely to report health problems like high blood pressure, diabetes or heart disease over the next year and a half than people who are employed.
"We know that stress affects health," said Dr. Williams, director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Commission to Build a Healthier America, to The New York Times. "It causes changes in physiological function in multiple ways, and it can lead to alterations in health behavior. People no longer exercise, they eat more, they drink more. People who smoke, smoke more on high stress days."
Dale Fletcher, founder of Faith and Health Connection, encourages those who recently lost their job to handle their stressful situation by including God in their struggles. He advises unemployed Americans to depend on God for strength during the tough times instead of managing stress with unhealthy habits or addictions.