Bureau of Labor Statistics

Small number of industries involved in largest strikes

October 06, 2000

Three industries accounted for 13 of the 19 months between 1975 and 1997 in which strike activity had a very large effect on payroll employment estimates.

Months in which strikes affected payroll employment by more than 50,000, by industry, 1975-1997
[Chart data—TXT]

The telephone communications industry was involved in strikes that affected payroll employment estimates by more than 50,000 jobs in six months: August 1983, June 1986, and August through November 1989.

The coal mining industry was involved in large strikes in four months: December 1977, January 1978, and April-May 1981. Strikes among general building contractors had large effects on employment estimates in May 1975, July 1980, and June 1981.

The Current Employment Statistics program produces the monthly strike reports before that month’s survey data are compiled. Three major factors determine a strike’s impact on employment estimates: timing relative to the survey reference period, the industry code of establishments affected by the strike, and the actual presence or absence of the struck establishments in the survey sample. Read more about accounting for strikes in employment data in a technical note, "The impact of strikes on current employment statistics," by Karthik A. Rao, Monthly Labor Review, August 2000.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Small number of industries involved in largest strikes at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2000/oct/wk1/art05.htm (visited January 16, 2022).

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