Census Bureau Profile America Facts For Features: Labor Day 2016: Sept. 5

By U.S. Census Bureau, Special for  USDR

The first observance of Labor Day was likely on Sept. 5, 1882, when some 10,000 workers assembled in New York City for a parade. The parade inspired similar events across the country, and by 1894 more than half the states were observing a “workingmen’s holiday” on one day or another. Later that year, with Congress passing legislation and President Grover Cleveland signing the bill on June 29, the first Monday in September was designated “Labor Day.” This national holiday is a creation of the labor movement in the late 19th century and pays tribute to the social and economic achievements of American  workers.

Who Are We  Celebrating?

158.5  million
The number of people age 16 and over in the nation’s labor force as of May  2016.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Table  A

Our  Jobs

Largest Occupations May 2015                                       

Number of employees

Retail salespeople




Combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food


Office clerks, general                                                          


Registered nurses                                                              


Customer service representatives                                         


Waiters and waitresses                                                        


Laborers and freight, stock and material movers, hand              


Secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical and executive


Janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners       


Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupations with the Highest Employment, May 2015  www.bls.gov/oes/2015/may/area_emp_chart/area_emp_chart.htm

16.4  million
The number of wage and salary workers age 16 and over represented by a union in 2015. This group included both union members (14.8 million) and workers who reported no union affiliation but whose jobs were covered by a union contract (1.6 million). Among states, New York continued to have the highest union membership rate (24.7 percent), and South Carolina had the lowest rate (2.1  percent).
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
www.bls.gov/webapps/legacy/cpslutab1.htm  and

15.2  million
The number of employed female workers age 16 and over in service occupations in 2014. Among male workers age 16 and over, 11.8 million  were employed in service-related  occupations.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2014 American Community Survey, Table  C24010

The percentage increase in employment, or 141.9 million, in the U.S. between December 2014 and December 2015. In December 2015, the 342 U.S. counties with 75,000 or more jobs accounted for 72.5 percent of total U.S. employment and 77.8 percent of total wages. These 342 counties had a net job growth of 2.2 million over the year, which accounted for 81.4 percent of the overall U.S. employment  increase.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Another Day, Another Dollar

$50,383 and $39,621
The 2014 real median earnings for male and female full-time, year-round workers, respectively. The 2014 real median household income of $53,657 is not statistically different in real terms from the 2013 median of $54,462.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Income and Poverty in the United States: 2014

The 2014 median Asian household income, the highest among race groups. The median income of non-Hispanic, white households was $60,256 and for black households it was $35,398. For Hispanic households the median income was $42,491.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Income and Poverty in the United States: 2014

Fastest Growing Jobs

The projected percentage growth from 2014 to 2024 in the number of wind turbine service technicians (4,400 jobs in 2014), the projected fastest-growing occupation. Meanwhile, the occupation expected to add the greatest number of positions over this period is personal care aides (458,100).
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
www.bls.gov/emp/ep_table_103.htm and www.bls.gov/emp/ep_table_104.htm

Employee Benefits

The percentage of full-time, year-round workers age 18 to 64 covered by health insurance during all or part of 2014.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2014, derived from Table 3

Say Goodbye to Summer

Labor Day is celebrated by most Americans as the symbolic end of the summer and the start of the back-to-school season.

The number of shoe stores for back-to-school shopping in 2014. Also catering to back-to-school needs were 28,138 family clothing stores; 7,898 department stores; 7,351 children and infants’ clothing stores; 6,823 office supply and stationery stores; and 6,888 book stores.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2014 County Business Patternshttp://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/BP/2014/00A1/0100000US/naics~448130|44814|448210|451211|4521|453210

The number of sporting goods stores nationwide in 2014. Examples of these types of stores include athletic uniform supply, fishing supply and exercise equipment, as well as bicycle and golf pro shops. In U.S. sports, college football teams usually play their first games the week before Labor Day, with the NFL traditionally playing its first game the Thursday following Labor Day.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2014 County Business Patterns, NAICS 451110

The number of travel agents employed full time, year-round in the U.S. in 2014. In addition, there were 15,875 tour and travel guides employed full time, year-round nationwide. On a weekend intended to give U.S. workers a day of rest, many people climb into their drivers’ seats or board an airplane for a quick end of the summer getaway.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2014 American Community Survey, Table B24124

The number of paid employees (for the pay period including March 12) who worked for a gasoline station in the U.S. in 2014.Oregon (10,629 paid gasoline station employees) and New Jersey (17,411 paid gasoline station employees) are the only states without self-service gasoline stations. Oregon was the first state to make Labor Day a holiday in February 1887.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2014 County Business Patterns, NAICS 447

The Commute to Work

6.3 million
The number of commuters who left for work between midnight and 4:59 a.m. in 2014. They represented 4.5 percent of all commuters. The most common time was between 7 a.m. and 7:29 a.m. – with 20.6 million  commuters.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2014 American Community Survey, Table  B08132

The percentage of workers age 16 and over who worked at home in  2014.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2014 American Community Survey, Table  B08128

The percentage of workers age 16 and over who drove alone to work in 2015. Another 9.2 percent carpooled and 0.6 percent biked to  work.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2014 American Community Survey, Table  S0801

26.0  minutes
The average time it took workers in the U.S. to commute to work in 2014. New York (32.6  minutes)
and Maryland (32.3 minutes) had the most time-consuming  commutes.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2014 American Community Survey, Table  R0801

Following is a list of observances typically covered by the Census Bureau’s Facts for Features  series:

African-American History Month (February) 

Labor Day (1st Monday in September)

Super Bowl (1st Sunday in February)

Grandparents Day (1st Sunday after Labor Day)

Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14)                              

Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15)

Women’s History Month (March)

Unmarried and Single Americans Week (3rd week of September)

Irish-American Heritage Month (March)/           

Halloween (Oct. 31)

  St. Patrick’s Day (March 17)                    

American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month

Earth Day (April 22)                                      


Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (May)

Veterans Day (Nov. 11)  

Older Americans Month (May) 

Thanksgiving Day (4th Thursday in November)

Mother’s Day (2nd Sunday in May)  

The Holiday Season (December)    

Hurricane Season Begins (June 1)  

Father’s Day (3rd Sunday in June) 

The Fourth of July (July 4)

Anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act (July 26)

Back to School (August)                        

SOURCE U.S. Census  Bureau

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