On this Labor Day, remember the skills that make a worker

On this Labor Day, unemployment is at a 16-year low, according to the most recent labor statistics.

So there is that positive to reflect as many of us enjoy a holiday respite and celebrate what we do for a living.

The lower unemployment number can be read many ways, particularly depending on our political persuasions.

What we know is it reflects, to some degree, challenges met regarding the changing face of our labor force. Over the past half century, that labor force has gone from largely manufacturing to one that relies on high-tech knowledge and worker versatility.

But there remain many challenges ahead if the low unemployment rate is to be maintained. Every day there are stories of robotics replacing the work that humans used to do.

Fortunately, robots can’t do everything. Some talents are native to human beings and no one else. And all of us, to remain viable for employment, need to hone daily those unique talents and the knowledge we bring to a job.

A sleek resume is nice, but our guess is that most employers, once they realize an applicant has enough talent for a prospective job, are more interested in a person’s work ethic and day in-day out reliability.

For high-achieving collegians who will be seeking to enter the professional work force in coming months, that’s knowledge worth remembering. For high school and trade school graduates the same applies.

Even in an age of robotics, what gives us the opportunity to do a job is skill and ability that is combined with heart, work ethic and reliability.

On this Labor Day, we celebrate those who bring that unique combination of characteristics to their job every day. They are the fuel that starts the engine of this country each day.