Contact theSOPAbout theSOPSupport theSOPWritersEditorsManaging Editors
theSOP logo
Published:July 15th, 2007 07:59 EST
Celebrating Labor Day 2007: Sept. 3

Celebrating Labor Day 2007: Sept. 3

By SOP newswire

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 a “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?

152.8 million
Number of people 16 and older in the nation’s labor force in May 2007. In the nation’s labor force are 82.1 million men and 70.7 million women. <http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf>

Employee Benefits

82%
Percentage of full-time workers 18 to 64 covered by health insurance during all or part of 2005. (Source: Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2005, at <http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/income_wealth/007419.html>

77%
Percentage of workers in private industry who receive a paid vacation as one of their employment benefits. In addition:

  • 76 percent of workers receive paid holidays.
  • 15 percent have access to employer assistance for child care.
  • 12 percent have access to long-term care insurance.
  • 71 percent have access to medical care, 46 percent to dental care, 29 percent to vision care and 64 percent to outpatient prescription drug coverage.
(Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2008)

Another Day, Another Dollar

$41,386 and $31,858
The 2005 annual median earnings for male and female full-time, year-round workers, respectively. (Source: Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2005, at <http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/income_wealth/007419.html>)

$1,421
Average weekly wage in New York County, N.Y., for the third quarter of 2006, the highest among the nation’s 325 largest counties. Kent County, R.I., led the nation in growth of average weekly wages the third quarters of 2005 to 2006, with an increase of 18 percent. <http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/cewqtr.pdf>

Our Jobs

Americans work in a wide variety of occupations. Here is a sampling:

Occupation
Number of employees
Teachers
6.8 million
Farmers and ranchers
   784,000
Hairdressers, hairstylists and cosmetologists
   767,000
Chefs and head cooks
   313,000
Taxi drivers and chauffeurs
   282,000
Firefighters
   253,000
Pharmacists
   245,000
Roofers
   242,000
Musicians, singers and related workers
   203,000
Gaming services workers (gambling)
   106,000
Tax preparers
    98,000
Service station attendants
    96,000

(Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2008)

7.6 million
Number of workers who hold down more than one job. So-called moonlighters comprise 5 percent of the working population. Of these moonlighters, 4 million work full time at their primary job and part time at their other job. (Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2008)

When Do They Sleep?
There are about 310,000 moonlighters who work full time at both jobs. (Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2008)

10.6 million
Number of self-employed workers.
(Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2008)

21.1 million
Number of female workers 16 and older in educational services, and health care and social assistance industries. Among male workers 16 and older, 11.4 million were employed in manufacturing industries. (Source: 2005 American Community Survey)

28%
Percentage of workers 16 and older who work more than 40 hours a week. Eight percent work 60 or more hours a week. (Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2008)

4
Median number of years workers have been with their current employer. About 9 percent of those employed have been with their current employer for 20 or more years. (Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2008)

10.3 million
Number of independent contractors. Other workers with alternative work arrangements include 2.5 million on-call workers, 1.2 million temporary help agency workers and 813,000 workers provided by contract firms. (Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2008)

15.4 million
Number of labor union members nationwide. About 12 percent of wage and salary workers belong to unions, with Hawaii and New York having among the highest rates of any state — 25 percent and 24 percent, respectively. South Carolina has one of the lowest rates, 2 percent. (Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2008)

79,400
Number of jobs added in Harris County (Houston), Texas, between September 2005 and September 2006, the largest increase in employment among the nation’s 325 largest counties. <http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/cewqtr.pdf>

4.8 million
The number of people who work at home. <http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/american_community_survey_acs/010230.html>

Hot Jobs

56%
Projected percentage growth from 2002 to 2014 in the number of home health aides. Forecasters expect this occupation to grow at a faster rate than any other. Meanwhile, the occupation expected to add more positions over this period than any other is retail salespeople (736,000). (Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2008)

Early, Lonely and Long — the Commute to Work

15.9 million
Number of commuters who leave for work between midnight and 5:59 a.m. These early birds represent 12 percent of all workers. (Source: 2005 American Community Survey)

77%
Percentage of workers who drove alone to work. Another 11 percent car pooled, and 5 percent took public transportation (excluding taxicabs). <http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/american_community_survey_acs/010230.html>

31.2 minutes
The average time it takes to commute to work for residents of New York state. New York residents had the most time-consuming commute in the nation, followed by that of Maryland residents with 30.8 minutes. The national average was 25.1 minutes. (Source: 2005 American Community Survey)

3 million
Number of workers who face extreme commutes to work of 90 or more minutes each day. (Source: 2005 American Community Survey)

53%
Percentage of workers 16 and older living in Virginia who worked in a different county, the highest rate in the nation. (Source: 2005 American Community Survey)

SOURCE:  US Census Bureau