What is the Significance of Labor Day?

Labor Day is celebrated the first Monday in September.  It was a creation of the labor movement and was dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.  This annual tribute recognizes the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of this country.  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 one year later on September 5, 1883.  In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed.  The Central labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of new York and celebrate a ‘workingman’s holiday’ on that date.  The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations and today we still enjoy relaxing and cooking out with friends on the last holiday of the summer.

The term labor has taken on a different dimension since the 1800’s.  Telecommuting, home-based businesses, and full-time private contractors occupy a significant percentage of the work force.  After the North American Free trade Agreement, companies have downsized and re-structured and decreased the labor force.  Current figures estimate that as many as 30 million Americans are unemployed.  Do you know how the unemployment rate is calculated?  The government counts unemployed persons as those who are currently receiving an unemployment check.  That number does not account for individuals who:

do not qualify for unemployment,

have exhausted their unemployment but have not acquired a new position,

or were so close to retirement that they just went home.

Based on these facts, many more people are not working.  The work of my non-profit organization is vital.  The American Council of Women and Diversity in Medicine, Science, and Business specializes in training and development for individuals who are reinventing their careers.  We help people identify their skills and develop a plan to create their own employment.  We know that everyone is not intended to be an entrepreneur, however, every industry is a business.  Banks sell money but call it charging interest; colleges sell degrees and call it getting an education.  We are working to change the ways in which people think.  The local cake decorator may be a culinary artist, but she is a business woman as well.  ACWD-MSB is in the business of building businesses.  Our members are building palliative care centers, hospitals, career training centers, and educational centers.  Please contact us if you have an idea that you would like to explore.  Have a great Labor Day!

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