Many Will Work on Labor Day, Bloomberg BNA Survey Finds

Arlington, VA. (August 29, 2013)- Although nearly all employers will give Labor Day as a paid holiday, about four in 10 organizations will require at least some workers to toil on the holiday that honors workers, according to the Holiday Practices Survey released today by Bloomberg BNA, a leading publisher of specialized news and information.  

Overall, 39 percent of surveyed employers said they maintain operations on Labor Day and require some employees to report to work on the paid holiday. Larger employers (those with 1,000 or more employees) were more likely to require at least some employees to report to work than were their smaller counterparts (63 percent versus 29 percent), the survey found.  Findings on the Labor Day holiday are part of a broader Holiday Practices Survey conducted online in March 2013 among 501 human resource professionals from around the United States representing a variety of industry sectors.   

“In today’s workplace, employers in the nonbusiness sector are about twice as likely to require some workers to toil on Labor Day than are manufacturers or nonmanufacturing businesses,” Matthew R. Sottong, director of surveys for Bloomberg BNA, said.

The survey found that 61 percent of nonbusiness establishments – which include health care, government, education, membership and social services, and religious organizations – require some employees to work on Labor Day, compared with 32 percent of nonmanufacturing firms and 30 percent of manufacturers.  

Few employers reported that they sponsor Labor Day-related events or activities to commemorate the holiday. The survey found that only 4 percent of employers overall sponsor Labor Day events or activities, compared with other holidays such as Christmas (28 percent), Thanksgiving (14 percent), or Veterans Day (11 percent).

Labor Day, celebrated on the first Monday in September, is one of 10 official federal holidays and had its origins in the late 1880s when trade unions organized the first Labor Day parades and picnics. It first became a federal holiday in 1894.