Who’s Laboring in America?

For some interesting Labor Day reading, here are some labor force facts recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Who Are We Celebrating?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of people 16 and older in the nation’s labor force as of May 2013 was 155.7 million.

Our Jobs
The occupation with the highest number of employees is retail sales with 4,340,000 workers (May 2012), followed by cashiers with 3,314,010. By comparison, the occupation with the largest number of employees in 1910 was farmers (owners and tenants) with 6,132,000.

The number of wage and salary workers age 16 and over represented by a union in 2012 was 15.9 million. This group includes both union members (14.4 million) and workers who report no union affiliation but whose jobs are covered by a union contract (1.6 million).

The number of female workers age 16 and older in service occupations in 2011 was 14.5 million, compared to 11.2 million male workers.

Another Day, Another Dollar
The 2011 real median earnings for male and female full-time, year-round workers, was $48,202 and $37,118, respectively.

The percentage of full-time workers 18 to 64 covered by health insurance during all or part of 2011 was 84.7 percent.

Say Goodbye to Summer
As parents gear up to outfit their kids for school, they have quite a selection of stores to choose from. There were 25,448 shoe stores for back-to-school shopping in 2011. Additionally, there were 28,128 family clothing stores, 7,093 children and infants clothing stores, 8,144 office supply and stationery stores, 8,407 bookstores and 8,625 department stores.

The Commute to Work
And you think you have to get up early? One Census Bureau report shows that 5.7 million commuters left for work between midnight and 4:59 a.m. in 2011, representing 4.3 percent of all commuters.

Similarly, the percentage of workers 16 and over who worked from home in 2011 was also 4.3 percent.

The same survey revealed that 76.4 percent of workers 16 and over drove alone to work in 2011, while only 9.7 percent carpooled and 2.8 percent walked from home.

And how long did all this commuting take? The average time in 2011 was 25.5 minutes.


About Smart Companies Thinking Bigger®

Kelly Scanlon is the owner and publisher of Thinking Bigger Business Media. She recently finished a term on the national board of directors of the National Association of Women Business Owners, and was the national chair from 2010-2011. An advocate for small business owners, Kelly sits on numerous boards and committees to advocate on behalf of small business owners. She has won several awards for her advocacy. Among them are the 2011 United Nations NGO Positive Peace Award on behalf of Kansas City area small business owners, the U.S. Small Business Administration's Region VII Women's Business Champion of the Year in 2009, and the Women in Business Advocate of the Year from the State of Kansas in 2006. In 2002, she won the SBA's Region VII Small Business Journalist of the Year Award (Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas). Whatever your business stage—aspiring, startup, established, mature—Thinking Bigger Business Media has the resources you need to grow to the next level. We are a resource organization dedicated to providing the strategic, "how-to" information small business owners need to become more productive and more profitable. We also provide information that helps owners connect with resources within the business community that can help them grow. We deliver that information through a variety of media products and other channels easily accessible to business owners.
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