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7 things to know about Labor Day and the Crossroads workforce

ALLISON MILES

By ALLISON MILES
Aug. 31, 2013 at 3:31 a.m.

16 x 9 labor day

School's back in session, the city pool's closed, and holiday items already sit on store shelves. Still, summer isn't over just yet.

Labor Day - the season's unofficial end - is Monday, offering workers nationwide a bit of reprieve from the day-to-day grind of the office.

But how did the holiday start, and just how many people does it affect? We have some answers.

Here are seven things you might not know about Labor Day and the Crossroads workforce.

1: The first Labor Day, Sept. 5, 1882, was organized by the Central Labor Union. Workers in New York City gathered for a parade, which inspired similar events throughout the country. By 1894, more than half of the states celebrated some form of a "workingman's holiday."

2: On June 29, 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed a bill declaring the first Monday in September as Labor Day.

3: Nationwide, 34.1 million people will travel at least 50 miles away during the Labor Day travel period, which spans Thursday through Monday. That's a 4.2 percent increase over last year's 32.7 million people.

4: The National Safety Council estimates 394 traffic fatalities will take place nationwide this Labor Day weekend from 6 p.m. Friday to 11:59 p.m. Monday. Vehicle collisions are also expected to cause another 42,200 injuries requiring medical attention.

5: Employment in the Golden Crescent workforce development area - which includes Calhoun, DeWitt, Goliad, Gonzales, Jackson, Lavaca and Victoria counties - sat at 95,935 people in July. That's up from last July, when employment rang in at 94,323 people.

6: The average weekly salary throughout the Golden Crescent workforce development area was $860.23 during 2012's fourth quarter. Meanwhile, the average sat at $1,026.84 across Texas.

7: A number of people could soon find themselves updating their wardrobes. Labor Day doesn't just serve as the unofficial end of summer. For many, it marks the cutoff date for wearing white.

SOURCES: AAA Labor Day 2013 Travel Forecast, National Safety Council news release, Texas Workforce Commission data, U.S. Census Bureau website, U.S. Department of Labor websITE

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