Labor Day Facts: Occupations with most workers, median salaries for women and men

Do you know how Labor Day began?

The U.S. Census reports that the first observance of Labor Day was likely on Sept. 5, 1882, when some 10,000 workers assembled in New York City for a parade. That celebration inspired similar events across the country, and by 1894 more than half the states were observing a “workingmen’s holiday” on one day or another.

Later that year, with Congress passing legislation and President Grover Cleveland signing the bill on June 29, the first Monday in September was designated “Labor Day.” This national holiday is a creation of the labor movement in the late 19th century — and pays tribute to the social and economic achievements of American workers, according to a U.S. Census report.

The U.S. Census has compiled some fun facts about Labor Day. Here’s a look at Labor Day by the numbers-

  • 157 Million: The number of people ages 16 and over in the nation’s work force in June 2015.
  • $50,033 and $39,157: The 2013 real median earnings for male and female full-time, year-round workers, respectively. The real median household income $51,939, about 8.0 percent lower than in 2007.
  • 20 million: Number of people who commuted to work between 7 and 7:29 a.m. in 2013, which was the most common time for people to commute to work.
  • 25.8 minutes: The average time it took U.S. workers to commute to their jobs in 2013.

Occupations with the most workers as of May 2014

#1 Retail salespeople: 4,562,160

#2 Cashiers: 3,398,330

#3 Food prep and food service workers (including fast food): 3,131,390

#4 Office clerks: 2,889,970

#5 Registered nurses: 2,687,310

#6 Customer service representatives: 2,511,130

#7 Waiters and waitresses: 2,445,230

#8 Laborers and freight, stock and material movers: 2,400,490

#9 Secretaries and administrative assistants (except legal, medical & executive): 2,207,220

#10 Janitors and cleaners (except maids and housekeeping cleaners): 2,137,730 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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