Photo: Labor Day and Latino Workers
Monday, September 2 is Labor Day. This federal holiday recognizes the contributions of America’s 155 million workers. Hispanics represents 15% of the labor force with most (24.4%) employed in the construction industry followed by health and social services (10.9%). While 6.3% of Latinos self-employed and the fastest growing segment of small-business owners.
The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.
In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a “workingmen’s holiday” on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.
According to the 2010 U.S. Census the real median earnings for male and female full-time, year-round workers, is $47,715 and $36, 931, respectively.
As Thomas Perez marks his first Labor Day as Secretary of Labor, he noted: “On Labor Day, we reflect on the men and women whose heads, hearts and hands have made ours the strongest economy the world has ever known. To meet the challenges ahead, we must draw inspiration from their stories. We must emulate their strength and resilience. We must summon their dignity and their courage.”