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What are the best sales for Labor Day this year?
What are the best places to travel to for Labor Day 2017?

Facts and figures for Labor Day 2017

Labor D

The first observance of Labor Day was probably on September 5, 1882, when about 10,000 workers gathered in New York City for a parade. It inspired similar events around the country, and by 1894 more than half the states were observing a “workingmen’s holiday” at some time during the year. Later that year, with Congress passing legislation and President Grover Cleveland signing the bill on June 29, the first Monday in September was designated “Labor Day.” This national holiday is a creation of the labor movement in the late 19th century and pays tribute to the social and economic achievements of workers in America.


Labor Day travel appeals to many people as it marks the unofficial end of summer.

Thirty-four percent of Americans plan to travel this weekend, according to Trip Advisor.

Of those 34 percent, 27 percent will head to the beach, 25 percent will go into a big city, 11 percent will travel to a park, and 10 percent will go to a lake.

If you’re traveling by airplane this Labor Day, expect to see hundreds of people flooding airports.

At least 16.1 million airline passengers will be traveling for the holiday, up 5 percent from the 15.4 million who flew during the Labor Day holiday last year, Airlines for America, an airline trade organization, predicts. That means an average of 110,000 more passengers will be making their way through airports across the United States each day.


Look for sales on clothing, shoes, mattresses, and travel. See “What Are the Best Sales for Labor Day This Year” for details.

American workers

Here are facts about workers in this country offered by the U.S. Census Bureau:

How many

159.8 million

The number of people age 16 and over in the nation’s labor force as of May 2017.

Types of jobs

Largest Occupations, May 2016

Number of Employees

Retail salespersons




Combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food


Office clerks, general


Registered nurses


Customer service representatives


Laborers and freight, stock and material movers, hand


Waiters and waitresses


Secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical and executive


General and operations managers


16.3 million

The number of wage and salary workers age 16 and over represented by a union in 2016. This group included both union members, 14.6 million, and workers who reported no union affiliation but whose jobs were covered by a union contract, 1.7 million. Among states, New York continued to have the highest union membership rate, 23.6 percent, and South Carolina had the lowest rate, 1.6 percent.

15.3 million

The number of employed female workers age 16 and over in service occupations in 2015. Among male workers age 16 and over, 11.7 million were employed in service-related occupations.


The percentage increase in employment, or 143.7 million, in the United States between December 2015 and December 2016. In December 2016, the 344 U.S. counties with 75,000 or more jobs accounted for 72.8 percent of total U.S. employment and 78.1 percent of total wages. These 344 counties had a net job growth of 1.4 million over the year, which accounted for 80.7 percent of the overall U.S. employment increase.


$51,212 and $40,742

The 2015 real median earnings for male and female full-time, year-round workers, respectively. The 2015 real median household income of $56,516, an increase of 5.2 percent from the 2014 median of $53,718. This is the first annual increase in median household income since 2007, the year before the most recent recession.


The 2015 median Asian household income, the highest among race groups. The median income of non-Hispanic, white households was $62,950 and for black households it was $36,898. For Hispanic households, the median income was $45,148.

Fastest growing jobs


The projected percentage growth from 2014 to 2024 in the number of wind turbine service technicians, 4,400 jobs in 2014, the projected fastest-growing occupation. Meanwhile, the occupation expected to add the greatest number of positions over this period is personal care aides, 458,100.

Employee benefits


The percentage of full-time, year-round workers ages 19 to 64 covered by health insurance during all or part of 2015.


6.5 million

The number of commuters who left for work between midnight and 4:59 a.m. in 2015. They represented 4.6 percent of all commuters. The most common time was between 7 a.m. and 7:29 a.m. – with 20.9 million commuters.


The percentage of workers age 16 and over who worked at home in 2015.


The percentage of workers age 16 and over who drove alone to work in 2015. Another 9 percent carpooled and .6 percent biked to work.

26.4 minutes

The average time it took workers in the United States to commute to work in 2015. New York, 33.1 minutes, and Maryland, 32.6 minutes, had the most time-consuming commutes.

Copyright 2017, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist


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