The quintessential American holiday bookends are Memorial Day to kick off the summer and Labor Day to celebrate the American workers entering the back-to-work and school season. And the traditions and facts associated with them range from historic to fun.
This includes the number of hotdogs consumed between the two holidays — 818 hotdogs every second.
The personal finance website WalletHub gathered some of these statistics and fun facts in a recent report and survey:
Labor Day in the 21st century is all about beaches, BBQs, ballgames and buying things. This year, for example, 25 percent of Americans plan to get out of town for Labor Day weekend. More than 102 million will enjoy a cookout. Thousands will pack college football stadiums. And the average Labor Day weekend shopper will spend $58 in the process, according to WalletHub’s survey.
But it hasn’t always been that way. Labor Day’s roots can be traced back to the streets of 1880s New York City, where rival union leaders joined forces to protest the unfair labor practices that plagued industry at the time.
This is not meant to take the wind from your sails as you enjoy one last dip in the summer sun. Rather, these Labor Day facts may help you cherish the holiday even more. Its place on the calendar is uniquely American – most other countries celebrate labor in May. And there’s ample reason for celebration, considering the industrial fatality rate has fallen by roughly 78 percent since the early 1900s.
Here are some of the other facts, fun and not so fun, WalletHub uncovered, including its “2019 Labor Day by the Numbers”:
- The first Labor Day was held in 1882, when 10,000 workers gathered in New York City for a parade.
- Congress made Labor Day on the first Monday in September a federal holiday in 1894.
- The highest number of union workers was recorded as 36 percent in the 1950s, compared to 10.5 percent in 2018.
- Labor Day is Americans’ third favorite holiday behind Christmas/Chanukah and Memorial Day and ahead of Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July.
- There has been a 7.5 percent decrease in the national average price of gasoline since 2018.
- An estimated 45,300 serious injuries will occur from Labor Day weekend car accidents.
- An estimated 40.6 percent of Americans will barbecue on Labor Day weekend.
- The average American household will spend $2,373 on summer vacation in 2019.
- There are 163.4 million Americans 16 and older in the American workforce.
- Unemployment is at 3.7 percent as of July 2019, compared to 9.5 percent in 2009.
- The median American household income is $57,650.
- The average hourly wage for Americans on private, non-farm payrolls is $27.98.
- Ninety percent of full-time workers have health insurance.
- The largest number of Americans — 4.45 million — work in retail. The smallest number work in the personal care field — 2.21 million.
- The average number of vacation days taken in 2018 was 17.4.
The report also found the American city with the hardest working people (Anchorage, Alaska) and the city with the laziest people (Detroit, Michigan). WalletHub compared 16 American cities based on the number of hours worked daily.
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