Labor Day began more than a century ago as a day to celebrate the efforts of labor and to give workers a day off between the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving holidays. It became a federal holiday in 1894.
This Labor Day, conditions are mixed for American workers. The unemployment rate is down to 5.1 percent, but the portion of adults actually in the labor force is low. Wage growth remains sluggish, and the portion of the workforce represented by unions, especially in the private sector, continues to shrink. Click here to see some wage and labor facts and trends.