For most, Labor Day weekend means one last summertime hurrah. Three days of eating, drinking, and hanging out before fall arrives and is followed by the winter chill.

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In reality, the reason we observe Labor Day is actually to celebrate the contributions and achievements of the millions upon millions of people who make up the United States workforce.

Here are seven facts about Labor Day and about the men and women who make up the United States workforce.

  • 1

    Our Ancestors Probably Worked Harder Than We Ever Will

    Think you have long days? Not so much. Consider this, back in the late 1800s, the average American worked 12 hours a day, seven days a week and it wasn't because they were greedy and working that much to hoard money. No, people were working that much just so that they could make ends meet.

    The next time you think your 40 or so hour work week is rough, remember that our ancestors were working an average of 84 hours a week. Oh, but there's more. Kids as young as five worked in factories and in mines and the eight-hour workday didn't become the standard until 1916.

  • 2

    Labor Day Began in Canada

    Wait, what? Yes, it's true. Labor Day was actually born in Toronto in 1872. As a matter of fact, Labor Day wasn't even celebrated in the United States until 1882. It was in 1882 that 10,000 workers decided to put up a unified front and took unpaid days off to march through Manhattan from City Hall to 92nd Street in New York City. So in other words, Labor Day in American started as a protest. Labor Day became a national holiday for us in 1894.

  • 3

    Fifteen Different Jobs Account for Over 25% of Total U.S. Employment

    There are 15 jobs that provide 25% of employment in this country. The top five of those fifteen jobs are retail salespeople, cashiers, office clerks, restaurant workers, and registered nurses.

  • 4

    More and More People Are Working from Home

    In a Gallup survey, 43 percent of employed Americans said they spend at least some of their time working remotely.

  • 5

    More Than One in Ten Commuters Have to Leave for Work Before 6 a.m.

    The next time you find yourself grumbling about leaving the house around 7:30 a.m. to get to work by 8 a.m., remind yourself of the 16.3 million workers who have to leave their warm beds before 6 a.m. just so that they can make it into work by 8 a.m.

  • 6

    Men Still Get Paid Significantly More Than Women Do

    You'd think there'd be a more level playing field when it comes to salaries in 2019, but nope. The average guy still makes 11% more than the average woman.

  • 7

    The Vast Majority of Commuters Don't Carpool

    The U.S. Census asked people how they travel to and from work and 76.6% of commuters say they drive to work alone. Less than 10% carpool and only 4.9% said they utilize public transportation.

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