Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Labor Day 2013

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882 in New York City. By 1884, 23 other states adopted the holiday to celebrate workers. In the same year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday within the District of Columbia and its territories. 

The United States differs from the majority of the world on the date of their Labor Day holiday. A large number of foreign countries celebrate May Day (May 1st), which is also called International Workers’ Day as their workers’ holiday.

In recognition of Labor Day yesterday, here are some workforce-related statistics:


The total civilian labor force in Oregon in July 2013. The United States had 157.2 million in the same time period. However, the labor force participation rates in Oregon as well as the U.S. have been declining. (For more information on Oregon's declining labor force, check out "Oregon's Falling Labor Force Participation.")

The number of unemployed Oregonians in July 2013. Nationwide, approximately 12 million individuals were unemployed in July of this year.


The number of union members in Oregon in 2012. About 16 percent of Oregon's workers are union members. The membership rate for private-sector workers (8.6%) was much lower than the rate for public-sector workers (49.9%). Nationwide, the union membership rate was 11.2 percent in 2012.

The estimated median hourly wage for all occupations in Oregon in May 2012. The Portland metro area had the highest median hourly wage of Oregon's metro areas at $18.48. Nationwide, the estimated median hourly wage was $16.71.

The average commute time (in minutes) to work in Oregon in 2011. The United States average was higher at 25.5 minutes in 2011.

The percentage of workers 16 and over who worked from home in 2011 in Oregon, which was slightly higher than the nationwide average of 4.3 percent.

For more information about the Oregon workforce, check out

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