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Economic News Release
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Work Stoppages Technical Note

                                            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 

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Last Modified Date: February 21, 2024