Hello Labor Day, Good-Bye Summer

As August ends and Labor Day approaches, many people commonly associate the holiday with the ending of summer. Kids go back to school, the days get shorter and many U.S. workers enjoy a day off work before heading into the grind of the last quarter of the year.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the observation of Labor Day likely started in 1882 when workers in New York City gathered in the streets for a parade. In 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed a bill to designate the first Monday in September as “Labor Day,” or a day to honor the economic contributions of workers in America.

The Bureau conducts an annual American Community Survey to find out about citizens regarding money (spending and earning), employment, housing and other topics. Some of the facts related to the labor force are listed below.


159.8 million: Number of working people in the U.S. who are age 16 and over

16.3 million: Number of U.S. workers who were represented by a union in 2016

90.1%:  Percentage of full-time U.S. workers age 19-64 who were covered by health insurance during all or part of 2015

20.9 million:  Number of commuters who leave home between 7:00am-7:29am for work, which is the most common time that people leave home (2015)

6.5 million:  Number of commuters who leave home between midnight-4:59am for work (2015)

4.6%:  Number of American workers age 16 and up who worked at home in 2015


Workers In America


The occupations with the most employees are listed below.

Retail sales:  over 4.5 million

Cashiers:   over 3.5 million

Food prep/serving/fast food:  over 3.4 million

Office clerks (general):  over 2.9 million

Registered nurses:  over 2.8 million

*Statistics were collected and provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. More can be seen at this website.