Labor Day by the Numbers

August 31, 2011

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In honor of the workers who keep this nation in business, here we take a look at some interesting facts and figures behind Labor Day.

The men and women in the United States workforce have faced some serious challenges this year. Here we look at the fascinating statistics underlying Labor Day and the many hardworking professionals it celebrates.

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154.8 Million Number of Americans over age 16 in the labor force Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) July 2011 Employment Situation

11.8 Million Total number of employees in the U.S. manufacturing sector as of July 2011 Source: Ibid.

5.8 Million Total number of employees in the U.S. construction industry as of July 2011 Source: Ibid.

763,000 Total number of employees in the U.S. mining industry as of July 2011 Source: Ibid.

24 Million Number of male workers 16 and older in management, professional and related occupations Source: U.S. Census Bureau 2009 American Community Survey

26 Million Number of female workers 16 and older in management, professional and related occupations Source: Ibid.

11.9% Percentage of wage and salary workers in a union in 2010, down from 12.3 percent in 2009 Source: BLS Union Members Summary

10.7% Percentage of workers in the manufacturing sector who are members of a union, down from 10.9 percent in 2009 Source: Ibid.

14.8 Million Number of American workers who are self-employed Source: U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy

722,000 Number of new establishments created in 2010 Source: Ibid.

1.13 Million Net number of private-sector jobs created in 2010 Source: Ibid.

5.9 Million Number of Americans who work from home Source: U.S. Census Bureau 2009 American Community Survey

52% Percentage of U.S. employers who cite difficulties in filling jobs due to lack of available talent in 2011, up from just 14 percent in 2010 Source: 2011 Manpower Talent Shortage Survey

4 Ranking of engineers on the list of most difficult positions to fill worldwide in 2011, following skilled trades workers, sales representatives and technicians Source: Ibid.

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25.1 Minutes Average time it takes to commute to work Source: 2009 American Community Survey

3.2 Million Number of workers who face daily commutes of 90 minutes or more Source: Ibid.

76.1% Percentage of commuters who drive alone to work Source: Ibid.

10% Percentage of commuters who carpool to work Source: Ibid.

5% Percentage of commuters who take public transportation to work Source: Ibid.

24% Percentage of workers aged 16 and older who work 41 or more hours per week Source: 2011 Statistical Abstract of the U.S. — Section 12

34.3 Average hours worked per week in the private sector in July Source: BLS July Employment Situation Report

40.3 Average hours worked per week in the manufacturing sector in July, along with 3.1 hours of factory overtime Source: Ibid.

0.8% Percentage increase in productivity and output among U.S. workers from Q2 2010 to Q2 2011 Source: Ibid.

10.8 Average number of jobs a worker holds from the ages of 18 to 42 Source: 2011 Statistical Abstract of the U.S. — Section 12

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$47,127 and $36,278 Real median earnings for male and female full-time, year-round workers, respectively, in 2009 Source: U.S. Census Bureau 2009 Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the U.S.

$56,409 Average annual salary in the manufacturing sector Source: 2011 Statistical Abstract of the U.S. — Section 12

$59,909 Average total annual compensation for private-sector workers, including wages, salaries and employer insurance contributions Source: Ibid.

$71,392 Average total annual compensation for manufacturing workers, including wages, salaries and employer insurance contributions Source: Ibid.

$23.13 Average hourly earnings for private-sector employees Source: BLS July Employment Situation Report

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31.5 Million Number of Americans expected to travel 50 miles or more this Labor Day weekend, down 2.4 percent from last year Source: AAA 2011 Labor Day Travel Forecast

27.3 Million Number of travelers expected to drive to their holiday destinations, up 0.5 percent from last year Source: Ibid.

2.5 Million Number of travelers expected to fly to their destinations, down 1.9 percent from last year Source: Ibid.

608 Miles Average distance Americans are expected to travel for their holiday trip Source: Ibid.

$702 Median amount expected to be spent for the holiday weekend, up slightly from $697 last year Source: Ibid.

27% Estimated percentage of holiday weekend spending on fuel and transportation, followed by accommodations (22 percent), food and beverages (21 percent), shopping (13 percent), entertainment and recreation (12 percent) and other costs (5 percent) Source: Ibid.
Image Credits: istockphoto

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