Labor Day 2021, by the Numbers | The Numbers Racket

The American workforce is made up of 161.3 million people over the age of 16. 

By: - September 6, 2021 6:30 am

Retail employees such as cashiers are among the least-paid U.S. workers (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee/The Conversation).

Once known as the “workingmen’s (and women’s) holiday,” Labor Day, celebrated on the first Monday of September, has become the unofficial end of summer, and the day in which we pack up our white clothing until next year. 

To celebrate the 127th celebration of Labor Day in the United States, here are some Labor Day-related statistics, courtesy of WalletHub. 

Better Know the Workforce

More than half (58 percent) of Americans say legal immigrants strengthen the country’s workforce with their hard work and talents, according to WalletHub. 

The American workforce is made up of 161.3 million people over the age of 16. 

Of those 161 million, 3.66 million work in retail, the largest labor sector. 

Rounding out the top five sectors by number of employees are: 

Fast Food … 3.45 million workers

Cashiers … 3.33 million worker

Home health and personal care aids … 3.21 million workers


Registered nurses … 2.99 million workers.

As of July, the national unemployment rate was 5.4 percent, compared with 14.8 percent in April 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Worker Pay, Benefits and Expenses

The median household income in the U.S. is $65,710, according to WalletHub data, with the average hourly earnings for private, non-farm employees at $30.54/hour.

The federal minimum wage has remained at $7.25 for more than a decade, with the highest minimum wage of $15.20 found in Washington D.C.

The average worker earns 10 vacation days each year, however 57 percent of Americans left vacation days unused in 2020. In 2018, workers left 768 million days unused.

A whopping 92 percent of Americans canceled or postponed their vacations in 2020 due to the pandemic. Likewise, 42 percent of employers made changes to their time-off policies due to the pandemic. 

A majority of American workers (80 percent) said they would take more time off if their boss was more supportive. Meanwhile, 37 percent of workers said that they fear vacations make them appear less dedicated to work or replaceable. 

For 22 percent of the country’s workers, paid time off is not a thing, earning no vacation time. 


According to WalletHub, 65 percent of Americans approve of labor unions. 

In 2020, 15.9 million workers aged 16 and older were represented by a union. 

The largest union in the U.S. is the National Education Association, which boasts 2.4 million members. 

Political support for unions varies by party. 

83 … the percentage of Democrats who support unions. 

64 … the percentage of Independents who support unions. 

45 … the percentage of Republicans who support unions. 


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Cassie Miller
Cassie Miller

A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry.