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Labor Day in the United States

Labor Day is on the first Monday of September every year. It was originally organized to celebrate various labor unions' strengths of and 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.

Man dressed in a suit lying down relaxing on a lawn with his head resting on his arms.

Labor Day is a day of rest for many Americans.

©iStockphoto.com/Martin Novak

Celebrate Labor Day

Labor Day is a day of rest or the last chance for many people to go on trips before the summer ends. For students, it is the last chance to organize parties before school starts again. In some neighborhoods, people organize fireworks displays, barbecues and public arts or sports events. The American football season starts on or around Labor Day and many teams play their first game of the season during Labor Day weekend.

Public Life

Labor Day is a federal holiday. All Government offices, organizations, and many businesses are closed. Some public celebrations, such as fireworks displays, picnics, and barbecues, are organized, but they are usually low key events. As it is the last chance for many people to take summer trips, there may be some congestion on highways and at airports. Public transit systems do not usually operate on their regular timetables.

About Labor Day

The first Labor Day was held in 1882. Its origins stem from the desire of the Central Labor Union to create a holiday for workers. It became a federal holiday in 1894. It was originally intended that the day would be filled with a street parade to allow the public to appreciate the work of the trade and labor organizations. After the parade, a festival was to be held to amuse local workers and their families. In later years, prominent men and women held 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 and Thanksgiving.

About Labor Day in other countries

Read more about Labor Day.

Labor Day Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday TypeArea
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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