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Labor Day in the United States

Labor Day is a federal holiday and falls on the first Monday of September every year. It was initially organized to celebrate labor unions and their contributions to the United States' economy.

Is Labor Day a Public Holiday?

Labor Day is a public holiday. It is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed.

People are relaxing in downtown Capitola, California, USA, on the Labor Day weekend.

©iStockphoto.com/benedek

Labor Day Weekend

All Government offices, organizations, and many businesses are closed. Many cities, towns, and neighborhoods organize and hold public celebrations such as firework displays, picnics, and barbecues.

Many residents take advantage of the long Labor Day weekend to take a last summer trip. Because of this, there may be traffic congestion on highways and at airports. Public transit systems do not usually operate on their regular timetables.

Last Break Before School Starts

For students, Labor Day is the last chance to take a break before school starts again for the fall session.

The American football season begins on or around Labor Day, and many teams play their first game of the season during the Labor Day weekend.

A Day for Workers

The first Labor Day was held in 1882, and its origins stem from the Central Labor Union's desire to create a holiday for workers. It became a federal holiday in 1894.

Originally, it was intended that the day would be filled with a street parade to allow the public to appreciate the trade and labor organizations' work. After the parade, a festival was to be held to amuse local workers and their families. In later years, prominent men and women had speeches. This is less common now but is sometimes seen in election years.

One of the reasons for choosing to celebrate this on the first Monday in September, and not on May 1, which is common in the rest of the world, was to add a holiday in the long gap between Independence Day in July and Thanksgiving in November.

About Labor Day in Other Countries

Read more about Labor Day.

Labor Day Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2015MonSep 7Labor DayFederal Holiday
2016MonSep 5Labor DayFederal Holiday
2017MonSep 4Labor DayFederal Holiday
2018MonSep 3Labor DayFederal Holiday
2019MonSep 2Labor DayFederal Holiday
2020MonSep 7Labor DayFederal Holiday
2021MonSep 6Labor DayFederal Holiday
2022MonSep 5Labor DayFederal Holiday
2023MonSep 4Labor DayFederal Holiday
2024MonSep 2Labor DayFederal Holiday
2025MonSep 1Labor DayFederal Holiday

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