Labor Day pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers and is traditionally observed on the first Monday in September. It was created by the labor movement in the late 19th century and became a federal holiday in 1894. As the cultural makeup of America continues to diversify and evolve, our team at Loigica would like to share the gratitude and day of recognition for the many foreign nationals who immigrate to work in the United States each year.
Why do we celebrate Labor Day?
During the Industrial Revolution in the United States, the average American worked 12-hour days and seven-day weeks in order to earn a simple living. Children as young as 5 or 6 worked tirelessly in mills, factories, and mines across the country, earning a fraction of adult wages. Very poor people and recent immigrants often faced extremely unsafe working conditions, with insufficient access to fresh air, sanitary facilities, and breaks for rest. Labor unions began to form and workers began to revolt against the work, initiating riots, labor boycotts, and other disruptions to commercial enterprise.
In an attempt to find peace with American workers, Congress passed an act making Labor Day a legal holiday. On June 28, 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed it into law.
How are immigrants a part of the American workforce?
For many decades, immigrants have been in some of the hardest working labor positions in the country. As mentioned previously, these workers suffered through strenuous conditions in an attempt to achieve their American dreams. The United States was built, in part, by immigrants, and the U.S. has long been the beneficiary of the new energy, innovation, and ingenuity that immigrants bring.
According to data obtained by the American Immigration Council, today’s immigrant makeup of the workforce spans a variety of industries. Immigrants make up over a third of all farming, fishing, and forestry workers—as well as nearly 25 percent of those working in computer and math sciences. The highest number of immigrants work in the health care and social service industry, with over 4 million immigrants providing these services.
Through various visa programs such as PERM, H-1B, H-2A, and more, foreign nationals are able to bring their work ethic to the United States.
Immigrants are a vital part of the American enterprise. They are us, our neighbors, and our friends. In fact, One in seven U.S. residents is an immigrant, while one in eight residents is a native-born U.S. citizen with at least one immigrant parent.
Happy Labor Day to all workers who drive American enterprise forward!