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Economic News Release
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Major Work Stoppages (Annual) News Release

For release 10:00 a.m. (ET) Wednesday, February 21, 2024	                            USDL-24-0348

Technical information:	(202) 691-6199     *  *
Media contact:	        (202) 691-5902     *

                                   MAJOR WORK STOPPAGES IN 2023

In 2023, there were 33 major work stoppages beginning in the year, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 
reported today. This is the largest number of major work stoppages since there were 39 in 2000. The 
lowest annual total of major work stoppages was 5 in 2009 and the highest was 470 in 1952. Over the last
20 years (2004-2023), there have been an average of 16.7 work stoppages beginning in the year. A major 
work stoppage involves 1,000 or more workers and lasts at least one shift during the work week, Monday 
through Friday excluding Federal holidays.  

There were 458,900 workers involved in major work stoppages that began in 2023. Service-providing 
industries accounted for 397,700 workers, or 86.7 percent of idled workers over the year. Within 
service-providing industries, the education and health services sector accounted for the idling of 
188,900 workers, the information sector for 171,500 workers, and the other sectors for 37,300 workers. 

In 2023, work stoppages in the manufacturing sector within goods-producing industries accounted for 
61,200 workers, or 13.3 percent of idled workers over the year.

In 2023, three local government and five state government work stoppages began, idling 91,100 workers. 
In private industry, 367,800 workers were idled beginning in the year.

                                            TECHNICAL NOTE

The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides information on major (1,000 workers or more) work stoppages 
in the United States, excluding U.S. territories. Because of the complexity of most labor-management 
disputes, the Work Stoppages program makes no attempt to distinguish between strikes and lockouts in 
its statistics. The workers involved in a strike or lockout may or may not be members of a union. 

The number of workers includes those idled for one shift or longer in the establishment(s) directly 
involved in the dispute as well as those in the establishment idled for related reasons, such as 
their facility is closed down during the stoppage. This number does not account for secondary 
idleness - that is, the effects of a stoppage on other establishments or industries whose 
employees may be made idle as a result of shortages of material or services. 

A day of idleness is a day that an employee is scheduled to work (Monday through Friday, excluding 
federal holidays) but does not work due to a work stoppage. The number of total days of idleness 
is computed by multiplying the number of workers idled by the number of lost workdays 
during the reference month.

An attempt is made to contact the parties involved in the work stoppage (employer, employer group, 
and union) to determine whether the duration and number of workers idled by the stoppage meet 
the thresholds for inclusion in this report. For additional information on the concepts, data sources, 
design, measures, and history of the work stoppages program, see

Detailed monthly work stoppage data since 1993 are available at and includes organizations involved, location, beginning and 
ending dates, industry, ownership, the number of workers, and total days of idleness.

Annual historical major work stoppages data from 1947 to present, including the number of work 
stoppages, workers idled, and total days of idleness, are available at 

Historical Bureau of Labor Statistics work stoppages publications are available from 1880 to 1980 

The latest Union Members report is available at 

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, please dial 7-1-1 to access 
telecommunications relay services.

Last Modified Date: February 21, 2024