Americans celebrate September 3, Labor Day

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Americans will celebrate Labor Day on September 3, 2012.  It is a nationwide regular holiday to pay tribute on that day to labor activists and workers of their strength, freedom, and leadership as an American worker.

Labor Day in the United States is celebrated on every first Monday of September to commemorate prosperity, workers’ rights and their contributions, and the well-being of America.

Quick Look at U.S. Labor Day History

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, “the first observance of Labor Day is believed to have been a parade of 10,000 workers on September 5, 1882, in New York City, organized by Peter J. McGuire, a Carpenters and Joiners Union secretary.”

The workers marched past along the Union Square, then to 42nd Street, and they gathered in Wendel’s Elm Park for a concert, picnic, and speeches. The New York’s Central Labor Union, an umbrella group of representatives from local labor unions, first organized and staged the first labor day celebration.

After this workers’ march, several states in the United States were observing “Labor Day“, and following this observation, the U.S. Congress passed a bill to establish a federal holiday in 1894; afterward, President Grover Cleveland signed the bill, designating the first Monday in September as Labor Day.

Quick Facts of U.S. Labor Force

As of June 2012, there were 155.2 million Americans, 16 years old and older, comprised the state’s labor force that will celebrate on September 3, Labor Day. This figure is based on the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics data released August 3, 2012 according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The data also revealed that U.S. unemployment rate was “essentially unchanged at 8.3 percent.” Relatively, Laura Bassett in her report published by the exposed that “The U.S. jobless rate rose slightly to 9.6 from 9.5 percent in August, but some experts are saying this may actually be a good sign for the economy.”

Below is the consolidated minimum wage in the United States of America retrieved from U.S. Department of Labor:

Consolidated State Minimum Wage Update Table (Effective Date: 01/01/2012)

> Federal MW

Equals Federal MW of $7.25

< Federal MW

No MW Required

AK – 7.75


AR – 6.25


AZ – 7.65


GA – 5.15


CA – 8.00


MN – 6.15


CO – 7.64


WY – 5.15


CT – 8.25



DC – 8.25


FL – 7.67


4 States

IL – 8.25


5 States

MA – 8.00


ME – 7.50


MI – 7.40


MT – 7.65


NV – 8.25


NM – 7.50


OH – 7.70


OR – 8.80


RI – 7.40


VT – 8.46


WA – 9.04



18 States + DC




23 states

  • The state minimum wage rate requirements, or lack thereof, are controlled by legislative activities within the individual states.
  • Federal minimum wage law supersedes state minimum wage laws where the federal minimum wage is greater than the state minimum wage. In those states where the state minimum wage is greater than the federal minimum wage, the state minimum wage prevails.
  • There are 4 states than have a minimum wage set lower than the federal minimum wage. There are 18 states (plus DC) with minimum wage rates set higher than the federal minimum wage. There are 23 of the states that have a minimum wage requirement that is the same as the federal minimum wage requirement. The remaining 5 states do not have an established minimum wage requirement.
  • The State of Washington has the highest minimum wage at $9.04/hour. The states of Georgia and Wyoming have the lowest minimum wage ($5.15) of the 45 states that have a minimum wage requirement.
  • Note: There are 10 states (AZ, CO, FL, MO, MT, NV, OH, OR, VT, and WA) that have minimum wages that are linked to a consumer price index. As a result of this linkage, the minimum wages in these states are normally increased each year, generally around January 1st. On January 1, 2012, there were eight of the ten states that increased their respective minimum wages. The two exceptions were Missouri and Nevada.

(Source: Division of Communications Wage and Hour Division, U.S. Department of Labor)

Other Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics

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