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For 17%, Labor Day Is One of the Top Holidays

Monday, September 05, 2011

Only a small percentage of Americans consider Labor Day one of the nation’s biggest holidays, and most celebrate it as the unofficial end of summer rather than a recognition of union workers.

Just 17% of Adults, in fact, view Labor Day as one of the most important U.S. holidays, while nearly as many (14%) rate it as one of the least important, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. The vast majority (64%) see it as somewhere in between the two. (To see survey question wording, click here.) 

This is actually slightly more importance than Americans have attached to the holiday in surveys for the past two years.

Labor Day was originally established as a federal holiday in 1894 to honor working Americans, especially those in labor unions. But only 34% now celebrate Labor Day to honor workers. Fifty-three percent (53%) are more inclined to celebrate it as the unofficial end of summer. Thirteen percent (13%) are undecided which is more important.

But then Americas are almost evenly divided in their views of labor unions these days. Forty-five percent (45%) have at least a somewhat favorable opinion of unions, with 18% Very Favorable. Forty-eight percent (48%) regard them at least somewhat unfavorably, including 23% with a Very Unfavorable opinion.

These findings are little changed from a year ago  but mark a noticeable change from five years ago when 58% held a favorable opinion of labor unions.

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The national survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on August 30-31 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC . See methodology.


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