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Labor Day by the Numbers

Census Bureau facts for Labor Day

by the U.S. Census Bureau

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Who Are We Celebrating?

157 million

Number of people 16 and over in the nation’s labor force in June 2015.

Our Jobs

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

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).

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.


Percentage increase in employment (or 2.7 million) in the U.S. between September 2013 and September 2014. Employment increased in 306 of the 339 largest U.S. counties (large counties are defined as having employment levels of 75,000 or more).

Another Day, Another Dollar

$50,033 and $39,157

The 2013 real median earnings for male and female full-time, year-round workers, respectively. The real median household income $51,939, about 8.0 percent lower than in 2007.

Fastest Growing Jobs


Projected percentage growth from 2012 to 2022 in the number of industrial-organizational psychologists (1,600 jobs in 2012), the projected fastest-growing occupation. Meanwhile, the occupation expected to add the greatest number of positions over this period is personal care aides (580,800).

Employee Benefits


Percentage of full-time, year-round workers age 18 to 64 covered by health insurance during all or part of 2013.

Say Goodbye to Summer

Labor Day is celebrated by most Americans as the symbolic end of the summer and the start of the back-to-school season.


The number of shoe stores for back-to-school shopping in 2013. Other choices of retail establishments abound: there were 27,340 family clothing stores, 7,047 children and infants’ clothing stores, 6,998 office supplies and stationery stores, 7,064 book stores and 8,102 department stores.


The number of sporting goods stores nationwide in 2013. In U.S. sports, college football teams usually play their first games the week before Labor Day, with the NFL traditionally playing its first game the Thursday following Labor Day.


The number of travel agents employed full time, year-round in the U.S. in 2013. In addition, there were 15,628 tour and travel guides employed full time, year-round nationwide. On a weekend intended to give U.S. workers a day of rest, many people climb into their drivers’ seats or board an airplane for a quick end of the summer getaway.


The number of paid employees (for the pay period including March 12) who worked for a gasoline station in the U.S. in 2013. Oregon (9,901 paid gasoline station employees) and New Jersey (17,278 paid gasoline station employees) are the only states without self-service gasoline stations. Oregon was the first state to make Labor Day a holiday in February 1887.

The Commute to Work

6 million

Number of commuters who left for work between midnight and 4:59 a.m. in 2013. They represented 4.4 percent of all commuters. The most common time was between 7 and 7:29 a.m. – with 20 million commuters.


Percentage of workers 16 and over who worked from home in 2013.


Percentage of workers 16 and over who drove alone to work in 2013. Another 9.4 percent carpooled and 0.6 percent biked to work.

25.8 minutes

The average time it took workers in the U.S. to commute to work in 2013. Maryland (32.5 minutes) and New York (32.1 minutes) had the most time-consuming commutes.

More from Labor Day

Did you know?
After Angel Falls in Venezuela, Tugela Falls in South Africa is the world's highest waterfall.