Do you know the meaning behind Labor Day?

by Brandon Richards bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC-TV) – The Labor Day holiday means a lot of people in Southwest Louisiana won't have to go to work on Monday.

But what exactly is Labor Day? Where did it come from? What does it mean?

Well, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, Labor Day was created by the American labor movement as a way to honor "the creator of so much of the nation's strength, freedom, and leadership – the American worker.

The first Labor Day was observed in 1882 by the Central Labor Union in New York City. In 1894, Congress declared Labor Day a national holiday.

Through the years, Labor Day has evolved in terms of the way people celebrate it.

Gone are most of the large parades.

Instead, folks spend much of their Labor Day weekend relaxing.

Keisha Dalcour spent her weekend at the I-10 beach in Lake Charles.

"Labor Day means to celebrate all the times we go to work," said Dalcour.

Taking a closer look at Southwest Louisiana's workforce reveals some pretty interesting statistics. For instance, on average, those in the legal profession, mainly lawyers, have the largest annual income of over $84,000, followed by management ($74,587) and engineering ($68,374).

Most people in the five parish region work in retail (11.9%), construction (10.4%), manufacturing (10%), food service (10%) and public administration (5.4%).

The jobs highest in demand in SWLA are in the education/health, bookkeeping/accounting and the truck driving fields.

And at a time when many Americans find themselves out of work, Labor Day 2010 might be the perfect opportunity to be thankful of what you do have…a J-O-B.

Copyright 2010 KPLC-TV.  All Rights Reserved.