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Labor Day: Fun Facts

Happy Labor Day! We hope you are finding time to relax today. Here are some fun Labor Day facts courtesy of our pals at the U.S. Census Bureau.

How Did Labor Day Begin?

The first observance of Labor Day is believed to have been a parade of 10,000 workers on Sept. 5, 1882, in New York City, organized by Peter J. McGuire, a Carpenters and Joiners Union secretary.

By 1893, more than half the states were observing “Labor Day” on one day or another, and Congress passed a bill to establish a federal holiday in 1894. President Grover Cleveland signed the bill soon afterward, designating the first Monday in September as Labor Day. 

Who are We Celebrating?

155.2 million: Number of people 16 and older in the nation’s labor force in June 2012. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

Employee Benefits

85.0%: Percentage of full-time workers 18 to 64 covered by health insurance during all or part of 2010. Source: Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2010, derived from Table 8

Our Jobs

Americans worked in a variety of occupations in 2010. Here is a sampling of types of jobs along with the number of employees in that profession-

  • Actors: 7,835
  • Computer Programmers: 389,471
  • Cooks: 1,051,896
  • Hairdressers, Hairstylists and Cosmetologists: 395,311
  • Janitors and Building Cleaners: 1,445,991
  • Teachers (preschool – grade 12): 3,073,673
  • Telemarketers: 48,455
  • Telephone Operators: 33,057
  • Web Developers: 115,561 

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 American Community Survey, Table B24124

Another Day, Another Dollar

$47,715 and $36,931: The 2010 real median earnings for male and female full-time, year-round workers, respectively. Source: Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2010

Early, Lonely and Long - The Commute to Work

25.3 minutes: The average time it took people in the nation to commute to work in 2010. Maryland and New York had the most time-consuming commutes, averaging 31.8 and 31.3 minutes, respectively. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 American Community Survey, Table R0801

3.2 million: Number of workers who faced extreme commutes to work of 90 or more minutes each day in 2010. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 American Community Survey, Table B08012

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