It might be a federal holiday now, but three out of five Americans will still have to work on Juneteenth this year.

In our survey of 1,000 Americans, only 44% said they will have June 19 off from work this year in commemoration of Juneteenth. 

Also known as “Jubilee Day” or “Emancipation Day,” Juneteenth marks the anniversary of the day that enslaved people in Galveston, Texas were finally freed in 1865, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. 

Over a century of local celebrations later, Juneteenth was first officially designated a state holiday by Texas in 1979, and in 2021 became the first new federal holiday in almost 40 years

The campaign to make Juneteenth a national holiday rose to national prominence with retired teacher and activist Opal Lee, who in 2016 led a symbolic march from Fort Worth to Washington, DC in the hopes of gaining support from Congress.

Her efforts came to fruition when interest in the holiday surged during nationwide protests against police killings of Black Americans in the summer of 2020. 

President Joe Biden signed a bipartisan bill into law declaring the day a federal holiday in 2021. 

Only 62% of survey respondents think Juneteenth should be considered a federal holiday in the first place.

In fact, almost half acknowledged they don’t care about celebrating federal holidays as much as they care about getting the day off from work.

Although federal workers are paid and all non-essential federal offices are closed on federal holidays, public and privately-owned businesses are not required to follow these same guidelines.

Despite this, Juneteenth is one of the top five most frequently observed federal holidays, just above other summer holidays like July 4th (41%) and Memorial Day (42%).

Only 33% of respondents get time off for the most recently declared holiday, Martin Luther King Day, which was not officially observed in all 50 U.S. states until 2000. 


  1. New Year’s Day (Jan 1) – 57% 
  2. Juneteenth (June 19) – 44% 
  3. Memorial Day (last Mon in May) – 42% 
  4. Independence Day (July 4) – 41% 
  5. Christmas Day (Dec 25) – 41% 
  6. President’s Day (3rd Mon in Feb) – 39%
  7. Labor Day (1st Mon in Sept) – 36%        
  8. Thanksgiving Day (4th Thurs in Nov) – 33%        
  9. Martin Luther King Day (3rd Mon in Jan) – 33%        
  10. Columbus Day (2nd Mon in Oct) – 19% 
  11. Veterans Day (Nov 11) – 18% 
  12. N/A: Not sure/ None of the above – 20% 

This random double-opt-in survey of 1,000 Americans was conducted in June 2023 by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

Photo credit: image by Oladimeji Odunsi