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Labor Day spend predicted to fall after busy summer for consumers, survey

Numbers Game: The numbers you need to know.
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Francis Scialabba

less than 3 min read

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Labor Day is just around the corner, and it marks the last major spending holiday ahead of the holiday shopping season. But data suggests retailers and small businesses should temper their expectations when it comes to consumer spending this Labor Day, as inflation, job security, and pay weigh on consumers’ minds.

More than half (55%) of Americans say they will spend less on Labor Day this year compared to 2022, according to a WalletHub survey. Also, compared to last year, 14% fewer people said they’ll go Labor Day shopping in 2023.

  • A whopping 61% of respondents said they are less likely to travel for Labor Day this year.
  • In fact, it seems people have already scratched that travel itch: A separate survey from Accrue Savings found that 45% of Americans overspent on vacations this summer.
  • And nearly a fifth (17%) said they went into debt because of traveling, which includes 1 in 5 Zoomers.

The breakdown of how people spent their summer travel money this year is food (25%), gas (19%), and entertainment (15%), according to WalletHub. People also want better financial compensation from work to keep up with inflation—87% reported wanting a raise this year.

  • For some others, it’s not a matter of receiving a raise but rather simply keeping their job: 23% more people said they are worried about their job security this Labor Day compared to last year.

“Although the government has been successful in decreasing inflation, many Americans’ wallets are stretched thin from the past few years,” WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez said in a statement. “Important Labor Day costs like food (especially meat) and gasoline for travel remain high, which is likely forcing many people to cut costs and have more restrained celebrations.”

Retail news that keeps industry pros in the know

Retail Brew delivers the latest retail industry news and insights surrounding marketing, DTC, and e-commerce to keep leaders and decision-makers up to date.