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Labor Day by the numbers

Labor Day is Monday and in honor of workers everywhere, we present these by-the-numbers facts from the U.S. Census Bureau:

16 million

The number of wage and salary workers age 16 and over represented by a union in 2013. This group includes both union members (14.5 million) and workers who report no union affiliation but whose jobs are covered by a union contract (1.5 million).

14.8 million

Number of women age 16 and over in service occupations in 2012. Among male workers 16 and over, 11.4 million were employed in service-related occupations.

1.8 percent

The increase in employment (2.3 million) in the U.S. between December 2012 and December 2013. Employment increased in 286 of the 334 largest U.S. counties (large counties are defined as having employment levels of 75,000 or more).

$49,398 and $37,791

The 2012 real median earnings for male and female full-time, year-round workers, respectively.

49 percent

Projected growth from 2012 to 2022 in the number of personal care aides (580,800). Analysts expect this occupation to grow much faster than the average for all occupations. Meanwhile, the occupation expected to add more positions over this period than any other is registered nurse (526,800).


Percentage of full-time, year-round workers 18 to 64 covered by health insurance during all or part of 2012.


The number of travel agents employed full time, year-round in 2012. In addition, there were 16,526 tour and travel guides employed full time, year-round nationwide. On a weekend intended to give U.S. workers a day of rest, many climb into their drivers’ seats or board an airplane for a quick end-of-the-summer getaway.


The number of paid employees (for the pay period including March 12) who worked for a gasoline station in the U.S. in 2012. Oregon (9,347 paid gasoline station employees) and New Jersey (16,408 paid gasoline station employees) are the only states without self-service gasoline stations. Oregon was the first state to make Labor Day a holiday in February 1887.

5.9 million

The number of commuters who left for work between midnight and 4:59 a.m. in 2012. They represented 4.4 percent of all commuters. The most common time was between 7 and 7:29 a.m. — with 19.8 million commuters.

4.4 percent

Percentage of workers 16 and over who worked from home in 2012.

76 percent

Percentage of workers 16 and over who drove alone to work in 2012. Another 9.7 percent carpooled and 0.6 percent biked to work.

25.7 minutes

The average time it took workers in the U.S. to commute to work in 2012.