Labor Day 2005: Sept. 5
The first observance of Labor Day is believed to have been a parade on Sept. 5, 1882, in New York City, probably organized by Peter J. McGuire, a Carpenters and Joiners Union secretary. By 1893, more than half the states were observing a "Labor Day" on one day or another, and a bill to establish a federal holiday was passed by Congress in 1894. President Grover Cleveland signed the bill soon afterward, designating the first Monday in September as Labor Day.
Who Are We Celebrating?
Number of people age 16 or older in the nation's labor force in May 2005. Among the nation's workers are 80.0 million men and 69.1 million women. These men and women represent 66 percent of the civilian noninstitutionalized adult population.
Percentage of full-time workers age 18 to 64 covered by health insurance during all or part of 2003.
Percentage of workers in private industry who receive a paid vacation as one of their employment benefits. In addition -
* 79 percent of workers receive paid holidays.
* 18 percent have access to employer assistance for child care.
* fewer than 10 percent have access to subsidies for commuting,
telework opportunities and adoption assistance.
* 11 percent have access to long-term care insurance.
See Table 630, 2004-2005 edition.
Another Day, Another Dollar
$40,668 and $30,724
The annual median earnings, respectively, for male and female full-time, year-round workers in 2003.
Average weekly wage in New York County, N.Y., for the third quarter of 2004, the highest among the nation's 317 largest counties. St. Joseph County, Ind., led the nation in growth of average weekly wages over the third quarter 2003-2004 period, with an increase of 10.4 percent. < http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/cewqtr.pdf>
Americans work in a wide variety of occupations. Here is a sampling:
Occupation/Number of employees
Gaming services workers/85,000
Hairdressers, hairstylists and cosmetologists/718,000
Chefs and head cooks/281,000
Musicians, singers and related workers/179,000
Taxi drivers and chauffeurs/286,000
Service station attendants/96,000
Farmers and ranchers/825,000
See Table 597, 2004-2005 edition.
Number of workers who hold down more than one job. So-called moonlighters comprise 5 percent of the working population. Of these moonlighters, 3.8 million
work full time at their primary job and part time at their other job,
and about 293,000 work full time at both jobs. See Table 590, 2004-2005 edition.
Number of self-employed workers.
See Table 586, 2004-2005 edition
Number of female workers in educational, health and social services industries. More women work in this industry group than in any other. Manufacturing was the most popular industry among men, with 11.3 million workers.
Percentage of workers 16 or older who work more than 40 hours a week. Eight percent work 60 or more hours a week. Table 584, 2004-2005 edition.
Number of labor union members nationwide. About 13 percent of wage and salary workers belong to unions, with New York having among the highest rates of any state - 25 percent. North Carolina has one of the lowest rates, 3 percent. Table 640, 2004-2005 edition.
Number of jobs added in Maricopa County (Phoenix), Ariz., between September 2003 and September 2004, the highest of the nation's 317 largest counties. Among these counties, Rutherford, Tenn., experienced the highest rate of job growth, 9.2 percent.
The number of people who work at home.
The Long and Winding Road - to Work
The average time it takes to commute to work.
Of the 233 counties with populations of 250,000 or more, Queens (41.7 minutes), Richmond (41.3 minutes), Bronx (40.8 minutes) and Kings (39.7 minutes) - four of the five counties that comprise New York City - experienced the longest average commute-to-work times. Workers living in Prince William County, Va. (36.4 minutes); and Prince George's County, Md. (35.5 minutes) - suburban counties located within the Washington, D.C., metro area - also faced some of the longest commutes.
More Than 100 hours
The amount of time the average American spends commuting to work each year. (This exceeds the typical two weeks of vacation time taken by many U.S. workers over the course of a year.)
Percentage of workers nationwide who face "extreme" commutes to work - that is, they spend 90 or more minutes traveling to their jobs.
Among the 10 counties with the highest-average commuting times, the highest percentages of extreme commuters were found in the New York City metro area: Richmond, N.Y. (11.8 percent); Orange, N.Y. (10.0 percent); Queens, N.Y. (7.1 percent); Bronx, N.Y. (6.9 percent); Nassau, N.Y., (6.6 percent); and Kings, N.Y. (5.0 percent).