Labor Day 2015: Shared Prosperity for a Stronger America

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The theme for this year’s Labor Day is “Shared Prosperity for a Stronger America.” The Labor Department’s Website (dol.gov) states that “Shared prosperity is not just about economic fairness, but also national strength. We are a stronger nation when we field a full team. On Labor Day, and every day, we’re about building shared prosperity for a stronger America.”

The site’s posted stories include fair and equal pay, education and training, merging your job and family duties, opportunities for all, and the worker’s voice.

Some may only know Labor Day as just another day off and a good reason to travel, barbeque, party, visit friends and family, partake in fun activities, or find other relaxing ways to enjoy the long weekend. Although the origin of the upcoming holiday may be a little vague to some, many understand the labors of those before us who helped build that shared prosperity.

So, what does Labor Day mean and how did it come about?

According to the United States Department of Labor, the first Monday in September is designated as Labor Day, and is a creation from the labor movement that began in the formative years of the American nation.

The labor movement grew out of the need to protect common interest of workers; better wages, reasonable hours, and safer work conditions. The movement led efforts to stop child labor, give health benefits and provide aid to workers who were injured or retired (history.com).

In order to honor the social and economic achievements of American workers, Labor Day was created and has been in observance for more than 100 years. It constitutes an annual national tribute because of the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country (dol.gov).

So when you celebrate Labor Day, keep in mind all the hard work American workers put into building our great country.

Labor Day weekend marks the last holiday weekend of the summer. So if you’re planning to travel, don’t expect to be alone. According to American Automobile Association, there were 32.3 million Labor Day travelers in 2011, and that number has been steadily increasing over the years, reaching an estimated 35.1 million in 2014. This year AAA forecasts about 35.5 million travelers during Labor Day weekend. Though only a 1-percent increase from the previous year, it is considered the highest number of expected travelers since the Great Recession.

Enjoy the fruits of their labor (and yours) and be safe!