United States Business Holidays

United States Business Holidays

In the United States, there are 6 business holidays that are observed. Although not required, about 96% of all U.S. businesses honor these holidays by giving employees paid time off. These holidays are New Years Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas. Similar to business holidays, federal employees also observe Federal Holidays

We often get the question, is Black Friday a holiday or is Christmas eve a business holiday. Here we look at paid time off (holiday) statistics from U.S. businesses and state policies to let you decide. Black Friday is a public holiday in more than 20 states and about 75% of businesses are closed on that day. Christmas Eve closely trails at 62% business closure.

Holiday *Participation Date
New Year’s Day 96% Sunday, January 1
Memorial Day 95% Monday, May 29
Independence Day 97% Tuesday, July 4
Labor Day 95% Monday, September 4
Thanksgiving Day 97% Thursday, November 23
Christmas Day 94% Monday, December 25

*This is the percentage of U.S. businesses that offer paid time off for the holiday.

Holiday Date
New Year’s Day Saturday, January 1
Memorial Day Monday, May 30
Independence Day Monday, July 4
Labor Day Monday, September 5
Thanksgiving Day Thursday, November 24
Christmas Day Sunday, December 25
Holiday Date
New Year’s Day Friday, January 1
Memorial Day Monday, May 31
Independence Day Sunday, July 4
Labor Day Monday, September 6
Thanksgiving Day Thursday, November 25
Christmas Day Saturday, December 25
Holiday Date
New Year’s Day Wednesday, January 1
Memorial Day Monday, May 25
Independence Day Saturday, July 4
Labor Day Monday, September 7
Thanksgiving Day Thursday, November 26
Christmas Day Friday, December 25
Holiday Date
New Year’s Day Tuesday, January 1
Memorial Day Monday, May 27
Independence Day Thursday, July 4
Labor Day Monday, September 2
Thanksgiving Day Thursday, November 28
Christmas Day Wednesday, December 25

Holidays And Business Observation Statistics

Holiday Fixed Percentage of businesses offering PTO Details
New Years Day Fixed 96% Falls on the 1st day of each year.
Memorial Day Floating 95% Always observed on the last Monday of May
Independence Day Fixed 97% Always falls on the 4th of July.
Labor Day Floating 95% Is always observed on the 1st Monday in September
Thanksgiving Day Floating 97% Is celebrated on the 4th Thursday in November
Christmas Day Fixed 94% Is always the 25th of December.

Frequently asked questions

A paid holiday means you don’t have to work, but you’ll still get paid. They’re not required by law, but they are a common employment benefit. Paid holidays are predetermined, and may sometimes be negotiated. There are many different types of paid holidays, including federal, state, and floating holidays.
On a paid holiday, you’ll receive regular pay, even though you don’t work. There may be eligibility requirements. Specific details will be outlined in your employer’s handbook, company policy, or in your employment contract.

There are 3 types of paid holidays: federal, state, and floating.

Federal holidays are recognized by the federal government. Many employers choose to offer these days as paid days off. Examples of federal holidays include New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, and Thanksgiving.

State holidays are recognized by your state’s government. These holidays typically celebrate local culture or traditions. An example of a state holiday is Casimir Pulaski Day in Illinois. Employers sometimes offer state holidays as paid time off.

Floating Holidays are a little different. A floating holiday is a paid day off that employees can take at their discretion. The purpose of a floating holiday is to provide flexibility for religious holidays or personal events not covered by a standard holiday calendar.


These are the most commonly observed holidays in the United States:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas Day

Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, and Veterans Day are also commonly observed as paid holidays.

If you receive a paid holiday, you’ll receive regular compensation for that day. Simply put, you should expect a regular paycheck. The exception is if the holiday falls on payday. In those cases, you’ll still receive the full amount, but your pay might be slightly delayed. Ask your employer if you’re concerned about this.
Holiday pay rates may vary. Often, employers offer time and a half (or 1.5 your regular pay rate) to employees working on designated holidays. This is not a legal requirement. Rather, time and a half is offered as an incentive, or as a requirement for a bargaining agreement. The specific holidays that qualify for time and a half vary by workplace. Your employer’s policy will have details on how and when time and a half is offered.