Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a day to honor the American labor movement and the contributions workers have made to the country’s economy and society. It is also a day to mark the end of summer and the start of a new school year for many students and teachers. Here are some of the ways Americans are celebrating Labor Day 2023, and what businesses and institutions are open and closed on this federal holiday.
Traveling and vacationing
Many Americans are taking advantage of the long weekend to travel or enjoy a vacation. According to AAA, more than 40 million people are expected to travel by car, plane, train or bus over Labor Day weekend, up 5% from last year. The most popular destinations include Orlando, Las Vegas, Denver, Chicago and New York.
However, travelers should be prepared for higher prices and potential delays. Gas prices are at their highest level since 2014, averaging $3.18 per gallon nationwide. Airfares are also up 10% from last year, and hotel rates are up 6%. Additionally, travelers may face longer wait times at airports and security checkpoints due to staff shortages and increased demand.
Hosting or attending barbecues and parties
Another common way to celebrate Labor Day is to host or attend a barbecue or a party with family and friends. According to the National Retail Federation, more than half of Americans plan to cook out or picnic on Labor Day, spending an average of $58 per person on food and beverages. Some of the most popular items on the menu include burgers, hot dogs, chicken, ribs, corn, salad and watermelon.
However, health experts warn that gatherings may pose a risk of spreading Covid-19, especially with the highly contagious Delta variant circulating in the country. They advise people to follow the CDC guidelines for outdoor activities, such as wearing masks when in crowded or poorly ventilated areas, maintaining social distance from others who are not from your household, and getting vaccinated if eligible.
Shopping for deals and discounts
Labor Day is also a great time to shop for deals and discounts on various items, such as clothing, electronics, furniture, appliances and mattresses. Many retailers offer sales and promotions to attract customers and clear out their summer inventory. According to RetailMeNot, some of the best deals can be found on clothing (up to 60% off), mattresses (up to 50% off), appliances (up to 40% off) and laptops (up to 30% off).
However, shoppers should be aware that some items may be in short supply or have longer delivery times due to supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic. Some of the products that may be affected include cars, bikes, toys, books and home improvement materials.
What’s open and closed on Labor Day
Since Labor Day is a federal holiday, most government offices and services will be closed on Monday, September 4. This includes post offices, courts, libraries and DMVs. However, some essential services such as police, fire and emergency medical services will remain operational.
Most banks will also be closed on Labor Day, as well as the stock market. However, ATMs and online banking services will be available for customers.
Most retail stores will be open on Labor Day, with some offering extended hours or special sales. However, some wholesale clubs such as Costco will be closed. Most grocery stores will also be open, but some may have reduced hours or close early.
Most pharmacies will be open on Labor Day, but some may have limited hours or close certain locations. It is advisable to call ahead or check online before visiting a pharmacy.
Most restaurants will be open on Labor Day, but some may have different hours or menus than usual. Some may also require reservations or have limited seating capacity due to Covid-19 restrictions.