Sutton Enterprises

Labor Day - Holiday for the Working People

May 8, 2017

The first observance of Labor Day was likely on Sept. 5, 1882, when some 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 “workingmen’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.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

157 million

Number of people 16 and over in the nation’s labor force in June 2015.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Table A-1

Largest Occupations May 2014

Number of employees

Retail salespeople 4,562,160
Cashiers 3,398,330
Combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food
Office clerks, general 2,889,970
Registered nurses 2,687,310
Customer service representatives 2,511,130
Waiters and waitresses 2,445,230
Laborers and freight, stock and material movers, hand 2,400,490
Secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical and executive
Janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupations with the Highest Employment, May 2014,

16.2 million

The number of wage and salary workers age 16 and over represented by a union in 2014. This group includes both union members (14.6 million) and workers who report no union affiliation but whose jobs are covered by a union contract (1.6 million). Among states, New York continued to have the highest union membership rate (24.6 percent), and North Carolina again had the lowest rate (1.9 percent).

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Table 1 and Table 5

15 million

Number of employed female workers 16 and over in service occupations in 2013. Among male workers 16 and over, 11.6 million were employed in service-related occupations.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2013 American Community Survey, Table C24010

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