Our nation's official tradition of honoring the productivity of American workers dates back to the late 19th Century. What originally began in New York became a federal holiday in 1894. It is largely a day of rest. Even though the faces of labor have changed over the years, it is still an important day to salute and appreciate worker contributions to the U.S. economy.
People also mark the first Monday in September with parades, concerts, back to school shopping, kickoff for football season and the final home stretch for long political races. Yes, Labor Day has become many things to many people.
But perhaps no place in America represents the can-do spirit of U.S. workers better than Detroit. Our auto industry is a classic example. The Big Three have roared back creating thousands of new jobs and record car sales last year. Over the last decade the pendulum has been swinging back in favor of American suppliers and manufacturers. Many companies have relocated their overseas operations to the U.S.
The future looks exciting and promising! Could autonomous cars be to Detroit what the Silicon Valley is to California?
People are once again proud to say, "Made in America." Locally, we see it in companies such as Shinola, Detroit Denim, Better Made, Faygo, Vernors, Strohs and many others. We also see it in the faces of older Americans. In 1986, the median age of the U.S. labor force was 35. Today, it is closer to 42. Health care, education and changes in retirement contribution plans are the main reason why.
So, as you celebrate Labor Day this weekend with family and friends, take pride in knowing our city and state have played a major role in making the United States one of the greatest economic powers in the world.