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?

155.6 million

Number of people 16 and over in the nation's labor force in May 2013.

Our Jobs

Largest Occupations May 2013 Number of employees
Retail salespeople 4,485,180
Cashiers 3,343,470
Combined food preparation and serving workers,
   including fast food
Office clerks, general 2,832,010
Registered nurses 2,661,890
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
Largest Occupations 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
Laborers, manufacturing 1,487,000
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

16.0 million

The number of wage and salary workers age 16 and over represented by a union in 2013. This group includes both union members (14.5 million) and workers who report no union affiliation but whose jobs are covered by a union contract (1.5 million).

14.8 million

Number of female workers 16 and over in service occupations in 2012. Among male workers 16 and over, 11.4 million were employed in service-related occupations.


Percentage increase in employment (or 2.3 million) in the U.S. between December 2012 and December 2013. Employment increased in 286 of the 334 largest U.S. counties (large counties are defined as having employment levels of 75,000 or more).

Another Day, Another Dollar

$49,398 and $37,791

The 2012 real median earnings for male and female full-time, year-round workers, respectively.

Fastest Growing Jobs


Projected percentage growth from 2012 to 2022 in the number of personal care aides (580,800). Analysts expect this occupation to grow much faster than the average for all occupations. Meanwhile, the occupation expected to add more positions over this period than any other is registered nurse (526,800).

Employee Benefits


Percentage of full-time, year-round workers 18 to 64 covered by health insurance during all or part of 2012.

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 2012. Other choices of retail establishments abound: there were 25,421 family clothing stores, 6,945 children and infants clothing stores, 7,443 office supply and stationery stores, 7,244 bookstores and 8,196 department stores.


The number of sporting goods stores nationwide in 2012. 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 2012. In addition, there were 16,526 tour and travel guides employed full time, year-round nationwide. On a weekend intended to give U.S. workers a day of rest, many 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 2012. Oregon (9,347 paid gasoline station employees) and New Jersey (16,408 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

5.9 million

Number of commuters who left for work between midnight and 4:59 a.m. in 2012. They represented 4.4 percent of all commuters. The most common time was between 7 and 7:29 a.m. - with 19.8 million commuters.


Percentage of workers 16 and over who worked from home in 2012.


Percentage of workers 16 and over who drove alone to work in 2012. Another 9.7 percent carpooled and 0.6 percent biked to work.

25.7 minutes

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.

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