The first observance of Labor Day is believed to be on Sept. 5, 1882, when an estimated 10,000 workers assembled in New York City for a parade. That celebration inspired similar events across the country, and by 1894 more than half the states were observing a “working men’s holiday” on one day or another. 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 American workers.
The following information is presented in observance of Labor Day. Unless noted otherwise, the information is from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Largest Occupations as of May 2013
Number of Employees
|Combined food preparation and serving workers,
including fast food
|Office clerks, general||2,832,010|
|Waiters and waitresses||2,403,960|
|Customer service representatives||2,389,580|
|Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand||2,284,650|
|Secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal
medical, and executive
|Janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupations with the Highest Employment, May 2013
Largest Occupations in 1910
Number of Employees
|Farmers (owners and tenants)||6,132,000|
|Farm laborers, wageworkers||2,832,000|
|Farm laborers, unpaid family workers||2,514,000|
|Operatives and kindred workers, manufacturing||2,318,000|
|Laborers, nonmanufacturing industries||2,210,000|
|Salesmen and sales clerks, retail trade||1,454,000|
|Housekeepers, private household – living out||1,338,000|
|Managers, officials, and proprietors, retail trade||1,119,000|
|Mine operatives and laborers, crude petroleum and
natural gas extraction
Sources: Statistical Abstract, Bicentennial Edition: Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970, Chapter D: Labor, Part 1, Page 20 of pdf, Series D 233-682. Detailed Occupation of the Economically Active Population: 1900 to 1970
Percentage of workers 16 and over who worked from home in 2012.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 American Community Survey, Table B08128
The average time it took workers in the U.S. to commute to work in 2012. Maryland and New York had the most time-consuming commutes, both averaging about 32 minutes.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 American Community Survey, Table R0801