Today is Labor Day throughout the U.S. It is a national holiday as well as a state holiday in all 50 U.S. states. Although not required by law, according to the 2010 Society of Human Resource Management Benefits Report, 95% of private employers observe Labor Day as a paid holiday.
Labor Day is celebrated on the first Monday in September and is seen by most Americans as the unofficial end of the summer season after vacations have ended and schools come back into session after a two month hiatus. The Labor Day holiday originated in 1882 as the Central Labor Union of New York sought to create “a day off for the working citizens.” The U.S. Congress officially made Labor Day a federal holiday on June 28, 1894 two months after the May Riots of 1894. Originally, May 4 was chosen to remember the Haymarket Affair, a demonstration in support of striking workers in Chicago that turned into a violent riot. The reason for the celebration was to dedicate a day to the social and economic achievements of American workers. The idea was to recognize the contributions workers make to the prosperity, strength and well-being of the nation. The very next year, the Central Labor Union celebrated its second Labor Day holiday on Sept. 5, 1883, setting a trend for years to come.
Today, Labor Day is often regarded as a day of rest and parades. Speeches or political demonstrations are more low-key than the May Day celebrations in most countries, although events held by labor organizations often feature political themes and appearances by candidates for office, especially in election years. Forms of celebration include picnics, barbecues, fireworks displays, water sports, and public art events. Families with school-age children take it as the last chance to travel before the end of summer. Some teenagers and young adults view it as the last weekend for parties before returning to school. In addition, Labor Day marks the beginning of the NFL and college football season. 09-05-2011. HRM Partners.