17 surprising facts about working in America

Getty Images: Justin Sullivan
1 of 18 To full screen

McDonald’s claims that one in every eight Americans has been employed by the company.

Click through the gallery for 16 more little-known facts about working in America, just in time for Labor Day. See gallery

Getty Images
2 of 18 To full screen

A LinkedIn survey found the top dream job for men in America is professional athlete. For women: teacher.

Getty Images: Spencer Platt
3 of 18 To full screen

If you work 40 hours a week from the age of 20 until you’re 65 – excluding two weeks of vacation every year – you will work 90,360 hours.

Getty Images
4 of 18 To full screen

America is the only post-industrial nation that doesn’t mandate vacations.

5 of 18 To full screen

The rarest profession in the US is prosthodontist, with just 310 on record in 2012. Prosthodontists specialize in dental implants and reconstructive dentistry.

Getty Images: Thomas Koehler
6 of 18 To full screen

In 1950, Americans worked about 1,900 hours every year. Now, the average is about 1,700 hours.

Getty Images: Ty Wright, Bloomberg
7 of 18 To full screen

The most dangerous profession in America is logging, with 128 deaths for every 100,000 workers in 2012.

AP Photo: Kevin Frayer
8 of 18 To full screen

The most stressful job in America: enlisted military personnel, according to a survey this year.

Getty Images: Afro American Newspapers, Gado
9 of 18 To full screen

Labor Day began as May Day, which in turn grew out of the effort to implement an 8-hour workday in America.

AP Photo: Ted S. Warren
10 of 18 To full screen

Starbucks pays more for employee health insurance than it pays for coffee.

Reuters: Rick Wilking
11 of 18 To full screen

Walmart employs 2.2 million people, meaning its workforce is almost as large as China’s army.


Above: Jared Lawrence leads employees of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in a company chant outside company headquarters before a Walmart employee tour in Bentonville, Arkansas June 5, 2013.

Getty Images
12 of 18 To full screen

Hangovers cost American employers an estimated $160 billion annually due to decreased productivity.

Getty Images: Kevin C. Cox
13 of 18 To full screen

Last year, the highest-paid government employee in 27 states was a university football coach. In 13 others, it was a university basketball coach.


Above: University of Alabama head coach Nick Saban.

Getty Images: Hulton Archive
14 of 18 To full screen

In 1914, Henry Ford doubled his workers’ pay to $5 and reduced shifts from 9 hours a day to 8. The moves boosted employee productivity and retention.

Getty Images
15 of 18 To full screen

70 percent of Americans feel they’re 'disengaged' from their work, according to a 2013 survey.

Alamy: Mary Evans Picture Library
16 of 18 To full screen

In 1900, 18 percent of American workers were younger than 16.

Reuters: Lucas Jackson
17 of 18 To full screen

Factoring in inflation, the federal minimum wage peaked in 1968 at $1.60. That would be nearly $11 today.

18 of 18