Insights for Expats: Labor Day – what you need to know!

Labor Day in America has been for more than a century the traditional end of summer, a last hurrah of summer before the start of school –

  • A long weekend with cook-outs, last trips to the beach, family and neighbors gathering
  • Start of the Fall sports seasons, including college and American professional football
  • End of major league baseball season – and the countdown to the big World Series!
  • And of course, for those who like to adhere to Fashion Rules – no white after Labor Day!

The day and long weekend (Labor Day is always the first Monday in September) represent a respectful pause to recognize the working men and women of America.


Congress in 1894 established Labor Day as a national holiday and grew steadily. The Labor movement expanded after WWII due to a great economic boom that powered a middle class expansion.  Further, women increased their position in the labor movement, in part because during WWII 5 million women worked in factories for the war effort while 12 million men served in uniform.  (In extraordinary times, there are no ordinary lives)


First day of school traditions in many places are followed by school children everywhere in the country – like flowers for the teacher in Russia. American school traditions are very much a local matter – an apple for the teacher, field day on the first day of school, a pep rally for the football team.  Whatever it is, participate in Labor Day and kickoff the hopeful new academic year.  And remember the working people who help drive our vibrant economy.