Labor Day Traditions

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Featured

Published on August 27, 2019 with No Comments

Much like Memorial Day, which marks the traditionalbeginning of summer, Labor Day generally signifies that the season has ended — even though the calendar says otherwise. Holiday sales, barbecues and travel tend to rule the day, while children finally adjust to the harsh reality of “back-to-school” season. As far as U.S. sports are concerned, Labor Day weekend signals that baseball’s pennant races have entered their final stretch, and tennis fans get an extra day to watch the season’s last Grand Slam event — the U.S. Open in New York City. NFL regular-season games typically begin following Labor Day. In 2019 the NFL Kickoff Game takes place on September 5 with the Chicago Bears hosting the Green Bay Packers. It’s one of the league’s all-time great rivalries.

Labor Day by the numbers

162 million — Number of Americans (over 16) in labor force

40% — U.S. workers who belonged to labor unions in the 1950s (that dropped to 11% by 2018)

1894 — Congress officially makes Labor Day a federal holiday

86% — Americans planning Labor Day weekend travel who will do so by car

41% — Americans who plan to barbecue over Labor Day Weekend

818 — U.S. hot dogs eaten every second from Memorial Day to Labor Day

$685 — Average kid’s back-to-school expenses

$55,000 — Median U.S. household income

705 million (!) — Total number of U.S. unused vacation days (2017)

80% — Americans who would take time off if their boss were more supportive

— courtesy WalletHub ©2018

Labor Day Activities

1.         Read up on the history of Labor Day

Labor Day has a rich history that directly impacts the working conditions we experience today. So in between rounds of BBQ at your Labor Day celebration, take the time to discuss the U.S. labor movement and its contribution to our country’s current work culture.

2.         Buy an American-made product

When you’re doing your Labor Day shopping, take the time to read the labels. Consider buying products that say “Made in the USA” to show your support for American workers.

3.         Watch a movie about labor unions

Many of us get Labor Day off. What better way to relax than to stretch out on the couch and watch a movie about the American labor movement? There are tons of union-themed movies to choose from. “Norma Rae”ring a bell? Side note: Unions play a major role in the entertainment industry.

Why We Love Labor Day

1.         We’re hard workers — we deserve the day off

Statistics show that Americans work longer hours than citizens of most other countries — 137 more hours per year than Japan, 260 more per year than the UK, and 499 more than France. And our productivity is high — 400% higher than it was in 1950, to be exact. So we totally deserve that day off.

2.         It’s one last chance to grill

Labor Day is widely considered to be the unofficial last day of summer. Before the air turns cold and the leaves start to fall, it’s our last chance to grill some steaks and wear shorts.

3.         It’s the reason we can say TGIF

Labor Day is a time to celebrate the benefits we enjoy at our jobs — including weekends off. The concept of American workers taking days off dates back to 1791, when a group of carpenters in Philadelphia went on strike to demand a shorter work week (10-hour days, to be exact). It wasn’t until 1836 that workers started demanding eight-hour work days. So nine-to-five doesn’t sound so bad after all.



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