Skip Main Navigation Skip To Navigation Content
Facts for Features
CB12-FF.14
July 24, 2012

PDF Version [47K]

Labor Day 2012: Sept. 3

The first observance of Labor Day is believed to have been a parade of 10,000 workers on Sept. 5, 1882, in New York City, organized by Peter J. McGuire, a Carpenters and Joiners Union secretary. By 1893, more than half the states were observing “Labor Day” on one day or another, and Congress passed a bill to establish a federal holiday in 1894. President Grover Cleveland signed the bill soon afterward, designating the first Monday in September as Labor Day.

Who Are We Celebrating?

155.2 million

Number of people 16 and older in the nation's labor force in June 2012.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics <http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf>

Employee Benefits

85.0%

Percentage of full-time workers 18 to 64 covered by health insurance during all or part of 2010.
Source: Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2010, derived from Table 8
<http://www.census.gov/prod/2011pubs/p60-239.pdf>

Our Jobs

Americans worked in a variety of occupations in 2010. Here is a sampling:

Occupation Number of employees
Actors 7,835
Computer programmers 389,471
Cooks 1,051,896
Hairdressers, hairstylists and cosmetologists 395,311
Janitors and building cleaners 1,445,991
Teachers (preschool - grade 12) 3,073,673
Telemarketers 48,455
Telephone Operators 33,057
Web developers 115,561

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 American Community Survey, Table B24124
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_10_1YR_B24124&prodType=table>

26.3 million

Number of female workers 16 and older in management, business, science, and arts occupations in 2010. Among male workers, 16 and older, 23.7 million were employed in management, professional and related occupations.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 American Community Survey, Table C24010
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_10_1YR_C24010&prodType=table>

1.4%

Percentage increase in employment in the United States between December 2010 and December 2011. Employment increased in 266 of the 322 largest counties (large counties are defined as having employment levels of 75,000 or more).
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics <http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cewqtr.nr0.htm>

5.3%

Percentage increase in Kern County, Calif., between December 2010 and December 2011, the largest increase in employment among the 322 largest counties. Harris County, Texas, had the highest level increase of 62,700 jobs.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics <http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cewqtr.nr0.htm>

3.4%

Percentage decline in employment in Benton County, Wash., between December 2010 and December 2011, the largest percentage decrease among the nation's 322 largest counties.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics <http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cewqtr.nr0.htm>

5.9 million

The number of people who worked from home in 2010.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 American Community Survey, Table B08128
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_10_1YR_B08128&prodType=table>

Another Day, Another Dollar

$47,715 and $36,931

The 2010 real median earnings for male and female full-time, year-round workers, respectively.
Source: Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2010
<http://www.census.gov/prod/2011pubs/p60-239.pdf>

Early, Lonely and Long — the Commute to Work

16.3 million

Number of commuters who left for work between midnight and 5:59 a.m. in 2010. They represent 12.5 percent of all commuters.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 American Community Survey, Table B0813
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_10_1YR_B08132&prodType=table>

76.6%

Percentage of workers who drove alone to work in 2010. Another 9.7 percent carpooled and 4.9 percent took public transportation (excluding taxicabs).
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 American Community Survey, Table DP03
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_10_1YR_DP03&prodType=table>

25.3 minutes

The average time it took people in the nation to commute to work in 2010. Maryland and New York had the most time-consuming commutes, averaging 31.8 and 31.3 minutes, respectively.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 American Community Survey, Table R0801
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_10_1YR_R0801.US01PRF&prodType=table>

3.2 million

Number of workers who faced extreme commutes to work of 90 or more minutes each day in 2010.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 American Community Survey, Table B08012
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_10_1YR_B08012&prodType=table>

For detailed information on the data force, visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics at <http://www.bls.gov/>

[PDF] or PDF denotes a file in Adobe’s Portable Document Format. To view the file, you will need the Adobe® Reader® Off Site available free from Adobe. This symbol Off Site indicates a link to a non-government web site. Our linking to these sites does not constitute an endorsement of any products, services or the information found on them. Once you link to another site you are subject to the policies of the new site.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | PIO@census.gov | Last Revised: September 01, 2014