By Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist
What are your plans for Labor Day? Traveling? Flipping burgers at a barbecue? Going to the zoo, park, or other fun place in your community? Resting? Or, heaven forbid, working?
Here’s what’s going on around America.
About 31.5 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles away from home between Sept. 1 and Sept. 5, according to AAA, an organization for motorist. That's down 2.4 percent from last year, when 32.3 million Americans traveled for Labor Day.
"AAA is projecting a decrease in the number of Labor Day travelers as some Americans react to recent economic uncertainty and increasing air fares," said Glen MacDonell, director of travel services.
The bleak economy is responsible, according to the AAA’s analysis. Its report says consumers' discretionary income hasn’t gone up enough to keep up with rising travel costs.
dealnews.com predicts great sales on apparel, sneakers, and sandals from some retailers. So if you need clothing, it could be a good weekend to buy late-season apparel. Remember to look for Labor Day coupons that will take an extra discount from existing markdowns.
To prevent overspending, figure out how much you can afford to spend then make a list of what you need. Be sure you know the regular price range of what you plan to buy so a “fake” sale doesn’t trick you.
Facts and figures on workers
Who is the American worker?
Here are the numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau:
About 153.2 million people 16 and older were in the American work force in July 2011. Nearly 85 percent of them had health insurance.
There are more bankers, 117,405, than telemarketers, 55,733. Teachers, with 3 million employees, outnumbered janitors and building cleaners, 1.5 million strong.
The median earnings for men is $47,127 and $36,278 for women.
Just over 76 percent of workers drive alone to work, taking an average of 25 minutes to get there.
More than 6 million people work from home.
Whatever your plans, have a great Labor Day.