Labor Day: America’s Crazy Hot-Dog Eating Pace Is About to Cool Off . . . and Other Stats

It’s Labor Day weekend . . . a holiday that’s been around for HUNDREDS of years . . . but still doesn’t have a decent CANDY tradition.  (Why aren’t there traditional Labor Day candies?  Can we start that?)  (???)

We poked around the internet for some fun Labor Day-related facts, stats, and random silliness, and here are the highlights:

1.  The origins of Labor Day can be traced back to 1882, when 10,000 workers assembled in New York City for a parade.  12 years later, Congress made the first Monday in September a federal holiday.

2.  The 40-hour workweek became an official THING in 1940.  In the decades prior, it was common for Americans to work 12-hour days.

3.  61% of Americans say they plan to grill at some point this weekend.

4.  According to the most recent numbers, Americans consume 818 hot dogs EVERY SECOND from Memorial Day to Labor Day.  So that hot dog-scarfing pace is about to cool off for the winter.  (When we all plan to “eat healthier” . . . AGAIN . . . at least until Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.)

5.  There are about 167 million Americans ages 16 and older in the labor force, and the unemployment rate is down to just 3.5%.  That rate was 9.5% at the end of the Great Recession in July of 2009 . . . and as high as 14.7% in April of 2020 . . . during the early days of the pandemic.

6.  There are several strikes happening in Hollywood right now, and according to the recent data, 67% of Americans approve of labor unions.  That’s down a touch from 71% last year, which was the highest since 1965.

7.  The first Waffle House opened on Labor Day weekend in 1955 in Avondale Estates, Georgia.  Now there are nearly 2,000 locations.

8.  The first game of the NFL season almost always immediately follows Labor Day, and this year is no different.  The NFL Kickoff Game will be next Thursday, when the Kansas City Chiefs host the Detroit Lions.

(WalletHub / AgHires / Gallup / BLS / Wikipedia / Wikipedia / ESPN)