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Press Release

5 Things Accountants Want You to Know About Labor Day

Alonza Robertson
Published Date:
Sep 4, 2015

NEW YORK – (Sept. 4, 2015) – What do accountants and Labor Day have in common? Numbers, of course. Did you know that the first official Labor Day celebration occurred in New York City 133 years ago with a parade that marched through New York City’s Union Square?

The New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants—the same trusted professionals behind the numbers for businesses and individuals—have compiled some other fun facts about the holiday that celebrates the American worker.

  • There are currently 157 million people (16 and older) who are in the nation’s labor force as of June 2015. About 9.2 million of them are New Yorkers, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • As of 2014, 11 percent of American workers were union members, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statisticsa big drop since the early 1980s, when 20 percent of American workers carried union cards. New York bucks that trend as the state with the highest union membership rate in the U.S. at 24.6 percent.  
  • The Adamson Act, passed on September 3, 1916, established the eight-hour work day.  However, the average time worked by full-time employees today has ticked up to 46.7 hours a week, according to a 2014 Gallup poll. Just 40 percent of American full time workers say they clock the standard 40 hours a week; most Americans work more.
  • In fiscal year 2015, New York State workers paid $43.7 billion in personal income taxes, according to the state Department of Taxation and Finance. 
  • The average U.S. worker faces a tax burden of 31.3 percent. This includes both income taxes and payrolls taxes (Social Security and Medicare). Between these two types of taxes, the average U.S. worker pays about $16,000 in taxes on their labor.

Get Money Smart with the NYSSCPA
Founded in 1897, the NYSSCPA is the premiere professional accounting association for more than 28,000 members in New York State, encompassing all areas of public practice, including government, education, healthcare, real estate, technology, small business, entertainment and financial planning. It is the oldest – and the third largest such state society organization - in the United States.