Labor Day by the Numbers

Labor Day is more than just a long weekend we look forward to in September – it’s an acknowledgment and celebration of all the people in the United States who work so hard all year round. While traditionally it was meant for manual laborers, today it extends to the entire U.S workforce.

200+ : the number of years ago Labor Day began to be celebrated in the U.S. The first one was held in New York on September 5th, 1882, and an estimated 10,000 workers joined in. 12 years later, in 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed Labor Day into legislation, making it an official national holiday. Today, there are more than 157 million workers over the age of 16 throughout the United States!

Each working person in the U.S will work about 1,790 hours over the course of a year; 11% of all American workers work more than 50 hours per week.

The average commute time is 25.4 minutes, and 4.4% of people (that’s about 6 million) leave their house to get to work between 12:00 and 5:00 AM. The most common time to leave for work is between 7:00 and 7:30 AM, which 20 million people do. 76.4% of people drive themselves to work, while another 9.4% carpool and 0.6% ride their bike.

The fastest-growing occupation, according to the census bureau, is organizational psychology: there’s a projected 53% growth from 2012 to 2022.

How do people celebrate Labor Day? By saying goodbye to summer with barbecues and back-to-school shopping. 34.7 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more for a weekend getaway. 55% of people will be grilling up some of the 818 million hot dogs we consume between Memorial Day and Labor Day, beer in hand – we buy more than $11 billion worth of beer in the same time frame. 47% of people will take advantage of Labor Day sales to do some shopping.

Have a happy, safe Labor Day!


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