Labor Day Quotes

I hope you enjoy this collection of Labor Day Quotes, quotes about work, history channel video on the origins of Labor Day, interesting Labor Day trivia, and more.

Labor Day Quotes Index

8 Hours
About Work
Choosing an Occupation
Corporate Ladder
Fruit of Labor
Good Advice
Hard Work
Job Hunting
Job Well Done
Labor Day
Labor Day Trivia
Labor of Love
Necessity of Work
Poor Wages
Purpose of Work
Rewarding Work
Value of Work
What Workers Desire…
Work and Play
Work/Life Balance

Video - Brief History of Labor Day

The history channel has provided a brief overview about the origins of Labor Day. Enjoy!

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8 Hours

By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually get to be a boss and work 12 hours a day.
~ Robert Frost

One of the saddest things is, the only thing a man can do for 8 hours a day, day after day, is work. You can't eat 8 hours a day nor drink for 8 hours a day, nor make love for 8 hours.
~ William Faulkner

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About Work

Labor was the first price, the original purchase
~money that was paid for all things. It was not by gold or by silver, but by labor, that all wealth of the world was originally purchased.
~ Adam Smith

All work is seed sown. It grows and spreads, and sows itself anew.
~ Thomas Carlyle

It's all in the day's work.
~ English Saying

Man's usual routine is to work and to dream and work and dream.
~ Raymond Queneau

Work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence.
~ Laurence J. Peter

Work is creativity accompanied by the comforting realization that one is bringing forth something really good and necessary, with a conviction that a sudden, arbitrary cessation would cause a sensitive void, produce a loss.
~ Jenny Heynrichs

I believe in my work and in the joy of it. You have to be with the work and the work has to be with you. It absorbs you totally and you absorb it totally.
~ Louise Nevelson

A man's work is from sun to sun, but a mother's work is never done.
~ Anonymous

Work is its own cure. You have to like it better than being loved.
~ Marge Piercy

A job is not a career. I think I started out with a job. It turned into a career and changed my life.
~ Barbara Walters

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The test of a vocation is the love of the drudgery it involves.
~ Logan Pearsall Smith

One's lifework, I have learned, grows with the working and the living. Do it as if your life depended on it, and first thing you know, you'll have made a life out of it. A good life, too.
~ Theresa Helburn

One principal reason why men are so often useless is that they neglect their own profession or calling, and divide and shift their attention among a multitude of objects and pursuits.
~ Nathaniel Emmons

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Choosing an Occupation

The road to happiness lies in two simple principles: find what it is that interests you and that you can do well, and when you find it, put your whole soul into it-every bit of energy and ambition and natural ability you have.
~ John D. Rockefeller III

Starting out to make money is the greatest mistake in life. Do what you feel you have a flair for doing, and if you are good enough at it, the money will come.
~ Greer GarsonNever desert your own line of talent. Be what nature intended you for, and you will succeed.
~ Sydney Smith

Whenever it is possible, a boy should choose some occupation which he should do even if he did not need the money.
~ William Lyon Phelps

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Corporate Ladder

By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually get to be a boss and work 12 hours a day.
~ Robert Frost

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If you want a work well done, select a busy man: the other kind has no time.
~ Elbert Hubbard

If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. The more things you do, the more you can do.
~ Lucille Ball

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Fruit of Labor

The highest reward for man's toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it.
~ John Ruskin

Work isn't to make money; you work to justify life.
~ Marc Chagall

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Good Advice

Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.
~ Kahlil Gibran

Do your duty until it becomes your joy.
~ Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

Find something you're passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.
~ Julia Child

Give me a man who sings at his work.
~ Thomas Carlyle

When people go to work, they shouldn't have to leave their hearts at home.
~ Betty Bender

The more I want to get something done, the less I call it work.
~ Richard Bach

If your dream is a big dream, and if you want your life to work on the high level that you say you do, there's no way around doing the work it takes to get you there.
~ Joyce Chapman

Whatever the job you are asked to do at whatever level, do a good job because your reputation is your resume.
~ Madeleine Albright

Better to wear out than to rust out.
~ Bishop Cumberland

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Hard Work

Nobody ever drowned in his own sweat.
~ Ann Landers

Don't be afraid of hard work.
~ Marian Wright Edelman

Originality and the feeling of one's own dignity are achieved only through work and struggle.
~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky

He who labors diligently need never despair, for all things are accomplished by diligence and labor.
~ Menander

Nothing worthwhile comes easily. Half effort does not produce half results, it produces no results. Work, continuous work and hard work, is the only way to accomplish results that last.
~ Hamilton Holt

Hard work has made it easy. That is my secret. That is why I win.
~ Nadia Comaneci

Sweat plus sacrifice equals success.
~ Charles O. Finley

The only thing that separates successful people from the ones who aren't is the willingness to work very, very hard.
~ Helen Gurley Brown

You can have unbelievable intelligence, you can have connections, you can have opportunities fall out of the sky. But in the end, hard work is the true, enduring characteristic of successful people.
~ Marsha Evans

Diligence is the mother of good luck, and God gives all things to industry.
~ Benjamin Franklin

To industry, nothing is impossible.
~ Latin proverb

I believe in hard work. It keeps the wrinkles out of the mind and spirit.
~ Helena Rubinstein

I realized that with hard work, the world was your oyster. You could do anything you wanted to do. I learned that at a young age.
~ Chris Evert

Fortune is ever seen accompanying industry.
~ Oliver Goldsmith

Be strong! We are not here to play, to dream, to drift; We have hard work to do and loads to lift; Shun not the struggle-face it; 'tis God's gift.
~ Maltbie D. Babcock

Industry is a better horse to ride than genius.
~ Walter Lippman

The only genius that's worth anything is the genius for hard work.
~ Kathleen Winsor

Elbow grease is the best polish.
~ English proverb

I never did anything worth doing by accident, nor did any of my inventions come by accident; they came by work.
~ Thomas Alva Edison

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We, the unwilling, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.~ Mother Teresa

When people ask me, "Why can’t labor organize the way it did in the thirties?" the answer is simple: everything we did then is now illegal.
~ Thomas Geoghegan

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Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.
~ C. Northcote Parkinson

Striving for success without hard work is like trying to harvest where you haven't planted.
~ David Bly

What a man accomplishes in a day depends upon the way in which he approaches his tasks. When we accept tough jobs as a challenge to our ability and wade into them with joy and enthusiasm, miracles can happen. When we do our work with a dynamic, conquering spirit, we get things done.
~ Arland Gilbert

The worst crime against working people is a company which fails to operate at a profit.
~ Samuel Gompers

Labor disgraces no man; unfortunately, you occasionally find men who disgrace labor.
~ Ulysses S. Grant

Our mental make-up is suited to a life of very severe physical labor.
~ Bertrand Russell

Many hands make light work.
~ William Patten

As a remedy against all ills - poverty, sickness, and melancholy - only one thing is absolutely necessary: a liking for work.
~ Charles Baudelaire

Most people like hard work, particularly when they're paying for it.
~ Franklin P. Jones

The joy about our work is spoiled when we perform it not because of what we produce but because of the pleasure with which it can provide us, or the pain against which it can protect us.
~ Paul Tillich

There are two kinds of talents, man-made talent and God-given talent. With man-made talent you have to work very hard. With God-given talent, you just touch it up once in a while.
~ Pearl Bailey

By the work one knows the workman.
~ Jean de la Fontaine

If a little labor, little are our gains. Man's fortunes are according to his pains.
~ Robert Herrick

There is dignity in work only when it is work freely accepted.
~ Albert Camus

God gives every bird its food, but he does not throw it into the nest.
~ J. G. Holland

The effectiveness of work increases according to geometric progression if there are no interruptions.
~ Andri Maurois

The happy people are those who are producing something.
~ William Ralph Inge

The world is moved not only by the mighty shoves of the heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.
~ Helen Keller

If you're in a good profession, it's hard to get bored, because you're never finished-there will always be work you haven't done.
~ Julia Child

To find out what one is fitted to do, and to secure an opportunity to do it, is the key to happiness.
~ John Dewey

Some people regard discipline as a chore. For me, it is a kind of order that sets me free to fly.
~ Julie Andrews

When men are rightly occupied, their amusement grows out of their work, as the color-petals out of a fruitful flower.
~ John Ruskin

If a man wakes up famous, he hasn't been sleeping.
~ Wes Izzard

I don't think that work ever really destroyed anybody. I think that lack of work destroys them a hell of a lot more.
~ Katharine Hepburn

The one important thing I have learned over the years is the difference between taking one's work seriously, and taking one's self seriously. The first is imperative, and the second is disastrous.
~ Margot Fonteyn

It is not hard work that is dreary; it is superficial work
~ Edith Hamilton

Laziness is a secret ingredient that goes into failure. But it's only kept a secret from the person who fails.
~ Robert Half

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Job Hunting

Never turn down a job because you think it's too small; you never know where it may lead.
~ Julia Morgan

Fall seven times, stand up eight.
~ Japanese Proverb

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Job Well Done

If a man is called to be a streetsweep-er, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well.
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.
~ Martin Luther King Jr.

No fine work can be done without concentration and self-sacrifice and toil and doubt.
~ Max Beerbohm

No task, rightly done is truly private. It is part of the world's work.
~ Woodrow Wilson

There's no labor a man can do that's undignified, if he does it right.
~ Bill Cosby

There is a kind of victory in good work, no matter how humble.
~ Jack Kemp

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Labor Day

Labor Day is a glorious holiday because your child will be going back to school the next day. It would have been called Independence Day, but that name was already taken.
~ Bill Dodds

Labor Day differs in every essential from other holidays of the year in any country. All other holidays are in a more or less degree connected with conflict and battles of man’s prowess over man, of strife and discord for greed and power, of glories achieved by one nation over another. Labor Day is devoted to no man, living or dead, to no sect, race or nation.
~ Samual Gempers

If all the cars in the United States were placed end to end, it would probably be Labor Day Weekend.
~ Doug Larson

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Labor Day Trivia

1. When was the first Labor Day observed?

2. Where was it observed and how?

3. In what year did Congress pass a bill making Labor Day a national holiday?

4. What President signed the bill into a Law?

5. What is the average commute time to work?

6. What State granted first access to the holiday?

7. True/False; Labor day was first established to air out grievances and promote job success?

8. The eight hour day was established in what year?

9. What was the name of the Act making it law?

10. What year the Supreme court rule in favor of the eight hour day? Answers
1. September 5, 1892

2. A parade in New York City

3. 1894

4. Grover Cleveland

5. 24.3 minutes

6. Oregon 1887

7. True

8. 1916

9. The Adamson Act

10. 1917

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Labor of Love

If a man loves the labor of his trade, apart from any question of success or fame, the gods have called him.
~ Robert Louis Stevenson

A man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without any hope of fame and money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well.
~ G. K. Chesterton

You have to do what you love to do, not get stuck in that comfort zone of a regular job. Life is not a dress rehearsal. This is it.
~ Lucinda Basset

To love what you do and feel that it matters-how could anything be more fun?
~ Katherine Graham

When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.
~ John Ruskin

The sentimentalist ages far more quickly than the person who loves his work and enjoys new challenges.
~ Lillie Langtry

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Necessity of Work

Heaven is blessed with perfect rest but the blessing of earth is toil.
~ Henry van Dyke

God sells us all things at the price of labor.
~ Leonardo da Vinci

Labor is the only prayer that Nature answers.
~ Robert Green Ingersoll

How many years of fatigue and punishment it takes to learn the simple truth that work, that disagreeable thing, is the only way of not suffering in life, or at all events, of suffering less.
~ Charles Baudelaire

Work is the inevitable condition of human life, the true source of human welfare.
~ Leo Tolstoy

Work in some form or other is the appointed lot of all.
~ Anna Jameson

People should tell their children what life is all about-it's about work.
~ Lauren Bacall

There can be no substitute for work, neither affection nor physical well-being can replace it.
~ Maria Montessori

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A bad day at work is better than a good day in hell.
~ Scott Johnson

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Poor Wages

No business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country. By living wages I mean more than a bare subsistence level--I mean the wages of decent living.
~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

Poorly paid labor is inefficient labor, the world over.
~ Henry George

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A professional is someone who can do his best work when he doesn't feel like it.
~ Alistair Cooke

In a professional once engaged, the performance of the job comes first.
~ Garson Kanin

Amateurs hope. Professionals work.
~ Garson Kanin

When white-collar people get jobs, they sell not only their time and energy, but their personalities as well. They sell by week, or month, their smiles and their kindly gestures, and they must practice prompt repression of resentment and aggression.
~ C. Wright Mills

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God give me work, till my life shall endAnd life, till my work is done.
~ Epitaph of Winifred Holtby

One machine can do the work of 50 ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.
~ Anonymous

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls, and looks like work.
~ Thomas A. Edison

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Purpose of Work

Work banishes those three great evils, boredom, vice, and poverty.
~ Voltaire

The end of labor is to gain leisure.
~ Aristotle

Everything considered, work is less boring than amusing oneself.
~ Charles Baudelaire

It is impossible to enjoy idling thoroughly unless one has plenty of work to do.
~ Jerome K. Jerome

We work to become, not to acquire.
~ Elbert Hubbard

Continuity of purpose is one of the most essential ingredients of happiness in the long run, and for most men this comes chiefly through their work.
~ Bertrand Russell

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Rewarding Work

Winning the [Nobel] prize wasn't half as exciting as doing the work itself.
~ Maria Goeppert Mayer

As for me, prizes mean nothing. My prize is my work.
~ Katharine Hepburn

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The only place where success comes before work is a dictionary.
~ Vidal Sassoon

Only he is successful in his business who makes that pursuit which affords him the highest pleasure sustain him.
~ Henry David Thoreau

Success depends in a very large measure upon individual initiative and exertion, and cannot be achieved except by a dint of hard work.
~ Anna Pavlova

Success is dependent on effort.
~ Sophocles

Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.
~ Henry David Thoreau

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The hardest work in the world is being out of work.
~ Whitney Young, Jr.

Anyone who is honestly seeking a job and can't find it, deserves the attention of the United States government, and the people.
~ John F. Kennedy

A man willing to work, and unable to find work, is perhaps the saddest sight that fortune's inequality exhibits under this sun.
~ Thomas Carlyle

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Value of Work

God gave man work, not to burden him, but to bless him, and useful work, willingly, cheerfully, effectively done, has always been the finest expression of the human spirit.
~ Walter R. Courtenay

Without labor nothing prospers.
~ Sophocles

A mind always employed is always happy. This is the true secret, the grand recipe, for felicity.
~ Thomas JeffersonEmployment is nature's physician, and is essential to human happiness.
~ Galen

Work is the grand cure of all the maladies and miseries that ever beset mankind.
~ Thomas Carlyle

Work is not man's punishment. It is his reward and his strength, his glory and his pleasure.
~ George Sand

Productive work is the central purpose of a rational man's life, the central value that integrates and determines the hierarchy of all his other values. Reason is the source, the precondition of his productive work - pride is the result.
~ Ayn Rand

Work is more fun than fun.
~ Noel Coward

Employment is nature's physician, and is essential to human happiness.
~ Galen

It is only when I am doing my work that I feel truly alive. It is like having sex.
~ Federico Fellini

After fifty years of living, it occurs to me that the most significant thing that people do is go to work, whether it is to go to work on their novel or at the assembly plant or fixing somebody's teeth.
~ Thomas McGuane

Work means so many things! So many! Among other things, work also means freedom. ... Without it even the miracle of love is only a cruel deception.
~ Eleonora Duse

The high prize of life, the crowning fortune of man, is to be born with a bias to some pursuit which finds him in employment and happiness.
~ Ralph Waldo EmersonThey are happy men whose natures sort with their vocations.
~ Francis Bacon

For the last third of life there remains only work. It alone is always stimulating, rejuvenating, exciting and satisfying.
~ Kathe Kollwitz

The workers are the saviors of society, the redeemers of the race.
~ Eugene V. Debs

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What Workers Desire…

What does labor want? We want more schoolhouses and less jails; more books and less arsenals; more learning and less vice; more leisure and less greed; more justice and less revenge; in fact, more of the opportunities to cultivate our better natures.
~ Samuel Gompers

Labor wants also pride and joy in doing good work, a sense of making or doing something beautiful or useful - to be treated with dignity and respect as brother and sister.
~ Thorstein Veblen

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Work and Play

When you're following your energy and doing what you want all the time, the distinction between work and play dissolves.
~ Shakti Gawain

Man is so made that he can only find relaxation from one kind of labor by taking up another.
~ Anatole France, The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard

Work is man's most natural form of relaxation.
~ Dagobert Runes

Rest is the sweet sauce of labor.
~ Plutarch

Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do, and play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do.
~ Mark Twain

Work and play are words used to describe the same thing under differing conditions.
~ Mark Twain

Work ... has always been my favorite form of recreation.
~ Anna Howard Shaw

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Work/Life Balance

How many people on their deathbed wish they'd spent more time at the office?
~ Stephen R. Covey

Sometimes it's important to work for that pot of gold. But other times it's essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing which color to slide down on the rainbow.
~ Douglas Pagels, These Are the Gifts I'd Like to Give to You

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
~ James Howell

Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.
~ Ovid

The man who doesn't relax and hoot a few hoots voluntarily, now and then, is in great danger of hooting hoots and standing on his head for the edification of the pathologist and trained nurse, a little later on.
~ Elbert Hubbard

There is a time for work. And a time for love. That leaves no other time.
~ Coco Chanel

Neither woman nor man lives by work, or love, alone.... The human self defines itself and grows through love and work: All psychology before and after Freud boils down to that.
~ Betty Friedan

Maintain a good balance. A personal life adds dimensions to your professional life and vice versa. It helps nurture creativity through a deeper understanding of yourself.
~ Kathy Ireland

For the happiest life, days should be rigorously planned, nights left open to chance.
~ Mignon McLaughlin

The simple idea that everyone needs a reasonable amount of challenging work in his or her life, and also a personal life, complete with noncompetitive leisure, has never really taken hold.
~ Judith Martin

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Workaholics commit slow suicide by refusing to allow the child inside them to play.
~ Dr. Laurence Susser

They intoxicate themselves with work so they won't see how they really are.
~ Aldous Huxley

Because it is less structured than work, leisure time leaves workaholics at a loss for what to do. Workaholics practically climb the wall when they can't work.
~ Marilyn Machlowitz

Work is a substitute "religious" experience for many workaholics.
~ Mary Daly

Workaholics are energized rather than enervated by their work-their energy paradoxically expands as it is expended.
~ Marilyn Machlowitz

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The Dash

It's not the date you were born, or the date you died, that really matters. It's "the dash" between those years and what you do with it, to make a difference with your life.