July 2020 | Blog | By: DecisionPathHR
Nearly 250 years ago, an important decision was made. A decision to do what is needed today in order to have a better tomorrow. A decision that changed the course of human history. July 4, 1776 – the day our nation was born.
Fifty-six delegates from thirteen colonies signed a document written by Thomas Jefferson declaring their independence from Great Britain. A war ensued, the good guys won, and now we have a day to celebrate everything that makes our country what it is.
We all know the history and the importance of those events, but we thought it would be fun to share some facts about it that you may not know. Here are DecisionPathHR®’s top 5 Independence Day facts.
Although the oldest Fourth of July celebration began as a parade in 1785 in Bristol, Rhode Island, it wasn’t until 1870 that Congress made Independence Day a national holiday. It would take 68 more years for the day to be a paid federal holiday, which happened in 1938.
Today, workers plan vacations around paid holidays. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), workers with one year of experience get an average of 11 days of paid vacations, those with five years of experience get 15 days, and if they have 10+ years of experience they get an average of 17-20 days of PTO every year.
The Fourth is one of the most celebrated holidays on the calendar, so don’t be surprised to see some of those vacation days being taken (or even a "sick" day or two) to make some extra-long weekends!
The average age of the signers was 45. The youngest being Thomas Lynch (27) of South Carolina and the oldest being Ben Franklin (70) of Pennsylvania. Thomas Jefferson, the lead author, was 33.
That got us thinking, how has the U.S. workforce changed generationally?
The average age of workers in America has increased over the years, from 38 in 1996 to 41 in 2016 with that number expected to continue to rise over the next decade, according to the BLS.
Although the average age of employees is increasing, Millennials now make up more than a third of the workforce. Forward thinking employers will have to start creating policies around what is important to younger generations, such as social responsibility, autonomy, and work/life balance.
Wrong. Only two of the individuals who signed the document later occupied the highest executive office, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.
That poses the obvious question – what other jobs would they have gone on to do? But also, what jobs did former Presidents have before they entered office? Now you may know Ronald Raegan was an actor and Jimmy Carter was a peanut farmer, but here some you may not have known about.
On July 8, 1776 the public was summoned in Philadelphia by the Liberty Bell where the document was read aloud. This was the first unofficial celebration of our independence from Great Britain.
The first roots of staffing companies came about 160 years later during WWII. Positions recently vacated by drafted soldiers needed to be filled. Companies that recruited local housewives into the workforce popped up so operations could continue. This led to a larger labor force in the years to come that included women, too.
After the war ended the displaced soldiers were now looking for work, so the idea of developing talent across multiple disciplines turned into a profitable market of its own.
In 1776 the population of the soon-to-be United States was about 2.5 million. Today that number is more in the neighborhood of 330 million.
For comparison, according to the American Staffing Association (ASA), in 2018 U.S. staffing companies employed more than 3.2 million temporary/contract employees each week. That’s nearly 1 million more than made up the entire population of our fledgling nation.
That number is expected to increase in the years to come, as well. Which, when you consider the benefits of using a staffing company, makes a lot sense.
The representatives who signed the document that lead to the U.S. gaining its independence knew what they wanted the future to be and had the courage to do something about it. 244 years later and we are still celebrating the courage those individuals showed and couldn’t image if they hadn’t.
The decisions we make today affect what our life (or business) looks like tomorrow, so make the right ones. Declare your independence from the staffing process.
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