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September 05, 20164 min read

Labor Day Statistics in the US – The Labor Force

Labor Day is the first Monday of September and the last day of the long weekend known as Labor Day Weekend. The unofficial end of the summer and in the US summer sports, Labor Day Weekend marks the beginning of many fall sports. However, do not forget the most important part of Labor Day: th workers.

Labor Day: A Short History

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883. Source

U.S. Labor Force Statistics

labor force

The changes in the labor force in the US between 1975 and 2015

The population is growing, but the labor force is not following, and the employed labor force is unstable. After 2008, there was a drop in the labor force and the employment rate. The cause was the big economic crash. In the last five years, it has started to normalize and has almost reached the level of 2007.

Gender Rate in the US Labor Force between 1975 and 2015

Civilian Non-Institutional Population in 1975 – 2015 by Gender

Let’s take a closer look and see the differences between male and female workers. Here we can see the civilian non-institutional population in 1975 – 2015 by gender.

The values on the Y-axis of the first chart are displayed from 0% to 100%. It is clear that the difference is relatively small but always changing and that there are always more women than men.


On the second chart, we zoomed in a little bit. On the Y-axis, the minimum value is 47%, and the maximum is 53%. In this way, we can see more detail and determine the trend. The lines are getting closer and closer to the 50% mark so the rate is going to be more balanced.


Labor Force by Gender Compared to Total Civilian Non-Institutional Population

Changing the value of the Y-axis can highly influence the results. We can use all of the charts below: it is our decision depends on what we want to show to the world.

Here, the method will be the same. First, we check the big picture, and then we will zoom in. In this line chart, the total labor force was compared to the total civilian non-institutional population. Here we can see that even though the women’s rate is higher than the men’s rate in the total population, the labor force rate of men is always higher. On the first chart, we can say the two lines are almost parallel and linear.

labor force to population Let’s check the second chart. We can see there is a really big gap until the 90s, and the labor force rate of women is growing quickly. From 1987 until 2008, the gap does not change, but after 2008, both lines start to move together.

labor force to population 2 This covariance can be seen well only on the third chart. Therefore, in data science, it is always important to know, what we want to test and see in our data. Never skip the closer look because the information is hidden deep.

labor force to population3

Employment Rate in the US in 1975 – 2015

Employed Population Compared to the Total Labor Force by Gender

As we get deeper and deeper into the labor force indicators, we cannot miss the employment rate. This rate is the most common number with which we can describe a country’s economy and labor force. Let’s take a look at these numbers in the period between 1975 and 2015 in the same way we did before.

employment rate

On the first graph, we can see the employment rate in 1975 – 2015 by gender. We can see that women’s and men’s employment rate are almost the same in this period, except for some little peaks, but we cannot see any specific information.

However, if we zoom in, we can see that both lines are wavy and there are many changes. The first thing we can see is that the men’s line is more sensitive to economic and historical effects. The economic crash in 2008 was a big shock for both segments, but women got out of the recession faster than men, and their negative peak was not very deep. We can see that there is just a 2% difference. It may not seem that big, but we are talking about millions of people. It is not big – it is huge.

employment rate2

Job Distribution in the US in 2015

4.612.510 employees will most likely work on Labor Day. That is around 16% of all workers.

job distribution

Here is some additional information for all who are not working on this day and want to go shopping:

WalMart is open on Labor Day

Costco is open on Labor Day: 10:00 AM – 8:30 AM

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