Get a Life

By Judith Welles

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Get a Life!: Labor Day 2008

This week before Labor Day is often the last chance people have to get away from work.  With schools starting earlier in many locations, it may be a short vacation, but it provides a needed break. 

The first observance of a Labor Day was 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 of the states were observing a Labor Day of some sort. In 1894, Congress passed a bill to establish a federal holiday, designating the first Monday in September as Labor Day.

Today, there are some 154.5 million people 16 and older in the nation’s labor force, including 82.6 million men and 71.9 million women.  More than two million of them labor for the federal government. 

Some 82 percent of full-time workers are covered by health insurance and 77 percent receive a paid vacation as one of their benefits.  That's another sign that government workers, who are offered both health insurance and paid vacation among other benefits, have it pretty good. 

Forecasters expect the labor force to grow in technology jobs at a faster rate than in any other occupation. The upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009, Table 598 projects a 53 percent growth between 2006 and 2016 in the number of network systems and data communication analysts.  

This Labor Day, while recognizing the contributions of a productive work force, take some time to enjoy the break!


Posted by Judith Welles on Aug 22, 2008 at 12:13 PM


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