By Rita R. Robison
What’s happening in America this Labor Day?
About 33 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home during the Labor Day holiday weekend, AAA Travel projects. That’s a 2.9 percent increase from the 32.1 million people who traveled last year.
Despite a sluggish economy and recent rises in gas prices, the increase in expected Labor Day travelers is occurring due to improving consumer confidence compared to last year and Americans’ continued desire to travel.
Although Labor Day isn't considered a consumer holiday, according to National Retail Federation Spokeswoman Kathy Grannis, retailers still offer "holiday" sales.
End of season sales will offer deep discounts on summer clearance merchandise, reports dealnews.com. Examples include BBQs, grills, and patio furniture. Consumers also will see markdowns on school supplies, apparel, sporting goods, home appliances, and electronics.
In America, 155.2 million people 16 and older were in the nation's labor force in June 2012, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. About 85 percent of full-time workers 18 to 64 were covered by health insurance during all or part of 2010.
Among American workers are: 7,835 actors; 389,471 computer programmers; 1.1 million cooks; 395,311 hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists; 1.4 million janitors and building cleaners; 3 million teachers; 48,455 telemarketers; 33,057 telephone operators; and 115, 561 web developers.
In 2010, 26.3 million female workers 16 and older were employed in management, business, science, and arts occupations. Among male workers 16 and older, 23.7 million were employed in management, professional, and related occupations.
Between December 2010 and December 2011, employment in the United States increased 1.4 percent in 266 of the 322 largest counties. Large counties are defined as having employment levels of 75,000 or more.
The number of people working at home in 2010 was 5.9 million.
During 2010, men employees working full-time, year-round earned a real median salary of $47,715, while women earned $36,931.
More than 76.6 percent of workers drove alone to work in 2010, while 9.7 percent carpooled and 4.9 percent took public transportation.
It took workers in the nation 25.3 minutes to commute to work in 2010. Maryland and New York had the most time-consuming commutes, with Maryland averaging 31.8 minutes and New York 31.3 minutes. More than 3 million workers faced extreme commutes of 90 or more minutes each day in 2010.
Whether you’re traveling, shopping, or celebrating the holiday with your co-workers and friends, I hope you have a great Labor Day.