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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 22, 2023	                            USDL-23-0350

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

                                   MAJOR WORK STOPPAGES IN 2022

In 2022, there were 23 major work stoppages beginning in the year, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 
reported today. The lowest annual total of major work stoppages was 5 in 2009 and the highest was 470 
in 1952. Between the years 2002-2022, there have been an average of 16 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 120,600 workers involved in major work stoppages that began in 2022. Service-providing 
industries accounted for 118,400 workers, or 98 percent of idled workers over the year. Within 
service-providing industries, the education and health services sector accounted for the idling of 
106,300 workers, the educational services sector for 69,500 workers, and the health care and social 
assistance sector for 36,800 workers. 

In 2022, work stoppages in goods-producing industries accounted for 2,200 workers, or a little under 
2 percent of idled workers over the year. Within goods-producing industries, the manufacturing sector 
accounted for 1,000 workers idled and forestry and logging accounted for 1,200 workers idled.

In 2022, seven local government and two state government work stoppages began, idling 68,800 workers 
and resulting in 1,429,100 cumulative days of idleness. In private industry, 51,800 workers were 
idled beginning in the year, resulting in 549,000 cumulative days of idleness. 

                                            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 1936 to 1979 

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: January 22, 2024