Work Stoppages Technical Note


The work stoppages program captures major (1,000 workers or more) work stoppages in the United States 
from various sources. Work stoppages are strikes or lockouts and no differentiation is made between 
the two classifications. The number of workers includes all workers made idle for one shift or longer 
in establishments directly involved in a stoppage. The number of workers includes those who are directly 
involved in the work stoppage as well as those in the establishment idled for related reasons, such as 
their facility is closed down during the stoppage. One or both parties involved in the work stoppage 
(employer, employer group or union) is contacted to verify the duration and number of workers idled 
by the stoppage.  

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

Monthly time series data since 1981 are available at 

Detailed work stoppage data since 1993 are available at and includes 
organization(s) involved, location, beginning and ending dates, the number of workers, and total days 
of idleness. 

Historical Bureau of Labor Statistics work stoppages publications are available from 1936 to 1979 at

For additional information on the work stoppages program, including concepts, data sources, design, 
measures, and history, see 

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Last Modified Date: February 15, 2019