If you think Labor Day is a distinctly American holiday, think again. It actually originated in Canada in 1882 and was quickly adopted by the United States. Interestingly, the form that the observance and celebration should take was actually outlined in the first proposal of what became a legal holiday.
According to the United Stated Department of Labor site, the holiday originally included a street parade to exhibit to the public “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations” of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of workers and their families. Later, speeches by prominent men and women of the community were added to emphasize the economic and civic significance of the holiday. Traditions change and very few of us will be attending any parades today.
So what are we doing?
Labor Day has come to be recognized as a day of rest and celebration. Here in Panama City, our hotels and beaches are packed as tourists celebrate the last weekend of summer. Â Ironically, this means longer hours for those employed in the hospitality industry. It’s also a weekend that retailers offer big sales promotions. Retail employment makes up about 24% of all jobs in the United States.
Unemployment continues to be a major problem as economic recovery remains elusive.Â Since money problems rank in the top 3 causes of divorce, our Family Law practice sees the very real toll unemployment takes on marriage and families.
If you are currently employed, be thankful not only for a day off, but for the provision of your job. And if you are among the approximately 8.2% of Americans currently unemployed, our wish for you is that the fall season will bring you the opportunity you have been seeking.
To all, we wish a safe and happy Labor Day.