When faced with life's challenges,
it is Important to Remember
that although Daniel was saved from the lions,
he was not saved from the Lion's Den.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Happy Labor Day

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 designating the first Monday in September as Labor Day.

Did you know???

In 1938, the first minimum wage instituted was 25 cents an hour...it's now $7.25.

President Cleveland signed the Labor Day Bill in an effort to win back votes. He had ordered federal troops to intervene in the Pullman Yards Strike which aroused sympathy across the country and more strikes were called to show solidarity with the workers.

The 8 hour day started in 1935, under the National Labor Relations Act which also provided us with the OSHA and child labor laws.

There is no federal law mandating "paid" vacations.

The "coffee break" started in 1882 in Stoughton, WI. Norwegian housewives, who were going to replace their husbands at a tobacco factory because they had left to work for another company, would not go to work unless they got a break in the afternoon for coffee.

On average, workers have been with their current employer for 4.1 years and only 10% have been there for more than 20 years.

In 2008, the average earning for male and female full time year round workers was $46,367 and $35,745 respectively.

Americans work in a wide variety of occupations. Here is a sampling:
Occupation       Number of employees
Gaming services workers  85,000
Hairdressers, hairstylists and cosmetologists718,000
Chefs and head cooks281,000
Musicians, singers and related workers179,000
Taxi drivers and chauffeurs286,000
Service station attendants  96,000
Farmers and ranchers825,000
Teachers6.5 million  

7.3 million
Number of workers who hold down more than one job. "Moonlighters" comprise 5 percent of the working population. Of these, 3.8 million work full time at their primary job and part time at their other job, and about 293,000 work full time at both jobs.

24.3 minutes
The average time it takes to commute to work.
Of the 233 counties with populations of 250,000 or more, Queens (41.7 minutes), Richmond (41.3 minutes), Bronx (40.8 minutes) and Kings (39.7 minutes) -– four of the five counties that comprise New York City - experienced the longest average commute-to-work times.

More Than 100 hours
The amount of time the average American spends commuting to work each year. (This exceeds the typical two weeks of vacation time taken by many U.S. workers over the course of a year.)

As we celebrate the day to honor the American Worker, be mindful that we are lucky enough to be part of the 154.4 million people that are part of the nation's labor force, we get paid vacations and paid for the holiday!

"Labor Day differs in every essential from the other holidays of the year in any country. All other holidays are in a more or less degree connected with conflicts and battles of man's prowess over man, of strife and discord for greed and power, of glories achieved by one nation over another. Labor Day...is devoted to no man, living or dead, to no sect, race, or nation."
Samuel Gompers, Founder of the American Federation of Labor

"Strange is our situation here upon earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to a divine purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: That we are here for the sake of others...for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy. Many times a day, I realize how much my outer and inner life is built upon the labors of people, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received".   ~ Albert Einstein~


  1. I didn't know this stuff about labor day. People will do anything for a vote sometimes. Even make up holidays. Which Im also grateful for. Except my husband still had to work today but we could get our mail.

  2. I had to go to a distant town and get the mail for my office so that we could come in early today and work it for the customers. I don't ever really get a holiday off and the day after is pretty bad, but still, we managed to have a nice relaxing day for most of it.