Labor Day: Empowering Our Workforce with the EITC

Abby Ling

Labor Day is more than a long weekend to enjoy the last traces of summer. Its origins are rooted in the Labor Movement.

The Labor Movement occurred during the Industrial Revolution when an economy dominated by agriculture and handmade goods was taken over by automation and machine manufacturing. The transition to mechanization streamlined the production process, making it more efficient and less expensive, but at great cost to the well-being of workers. Many were subjected to 100-hour work weeks and more than 70,000 workers died on the job

Industrial workers revolted, coming together to create unions to advocate for better working conditions. Their efforts resulted in advancements such as the 8-hour workday and led to the creation of policies and programs such as the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The EITC has progressed since its enactment in 1975 and catalyzed how America has used federal tax credits to support workers, families, children, schools, and industries, among several others. When introduced, the EITC was valued at $400 and was only available to working families with children. Since then, the tax credit’s value has increased to up to $7,430 and has expanded availability to working individuals and families.

Listen to the audiogram to learn more about Labor Day and its significance.