Labor Day’s first parade, believe it or not, took place in New York City, and a year later in 1887 became an official holiday. Labor Day celebrates the combined achievements of all those who have stood up to business leaders and management by seeking or demanding greater social and economic equality. In addition, it celebrates the contributions that all workers have made to their nations as a whole. It is celebrated on the first Monday of September in the United States and Canada.

Ironically, although many businesses do not support the struggles by labor unions and their workers, Labor Day is used by many retail establishments to launch a wide away of worthy sales. Many industry analysts and researchers suggest that Labor Day sales are second only to Black Friday. So while many people have Labor Day off from work, those who generally have the most to gain from unionized efforts are still at work.

Even though it might seem contrary to the point of Labor Day, the fact remains that sales occurring throughout Labor Day weekend are a great boon to the economy, and many people use the weekend to shop. Because summer is about to transition into fall, this is probably one of the best times to pick up a deeply discounted grill. Many other small appliances and kitchenware are up for grabs as well.

Many schools are also about to begin, as they use Labor Day to determine the commencement of the school year. That may be another reason why sales are so widespread, as many retailers are creating one big final push for their back to school advertisement cycles. This weekend can have a lasting impact on the economy for the remainder of the year, and can help analysts decide whether or not the holiday season will be good for the economy or bad.

Labor day represents people with similar goals who set out to accomplish something. It represents the collective achievements of all those who are or have been unionized, all those who labor to put food on the table and feed their children, and it proves that the partnership between those who are employed and those who are employers can endure even so. This Labor Day, think about how far our hopes and dreams have come, as individuals, as families, as communities, and as a country.