Labor Day 2019: Are Banks Open or Closed on Labor Day?

Labor Day 2019 falls on September 2 and most bank branches will be closed. The holiday is observed by the Federal Reserve, which closes on Labor Day, so your bank or credit union will more than likely be closed too as institutions generally follow the central bank's schedule.

There is a chance that smaller bank branches may be open on Labor Day 2019, such as those located within grocery stores, but it is not guaranteed and you should check with them first. They may also be running limited opening hours. Broadly, the system will close down for the day.

Major stock exchanges, including the New York Stock Exchange and the Dow Jones, will also close down for Labor Day 2019.

Bank closures do not mean you are unable to make transactions. You can still use ATMs as normal, make payments online and in stores, and most banks will also run their customer service phone lines for emergencies, such as lost or stolen cards that need to be canceled.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the Labor Day holiday is "a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country."

Internationally, Labor Day, also known as International Workers Day, tends to be celebrated on May 1. But the U.S. and Canada hold their Labor Day in September.

"The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed in 1885 and 1886," the Department of Labor states.

"From these, a movement developed to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887.

"During 1887, four more states–Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York–created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit.

"By 1894, 23 more states had adopted the holiday, and on June 28, 1894, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories."

There is some debate over who founded Labor Day in America but there are two likely contenders. The first and most commonly cited is Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a co-founder of the American Federation of Labor.

But there is also evidence that it was first suggested by Matthew Maguire, a machinist and secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York.

Labor Day 2019 banks close open Fed
The Federal Reserve building is seen January 22, 2008 in Washington, DC. Labor Day 2019 falls on September 2 and most bank branches are set to close. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images