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15 major work stoppages in 2016

February 22, 2017

In 2016, there were 15 major work stoppages, an increase from 12 major work stoppages in 2015. These work stoppages involved 99,000 workers, the most since 2012. These work stoppages resulted in 1,543,000 days idle, the greatest number since 2008. In the 70 years that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has collected work stoppages data, the decade from 2007 to 2016 had the lowest number of work stoppages on record, averaging approximately 14 major work stoppages per year.

Number of major work stoppages, workers involved, and total days idle, 1947–2016
Year Number of major work stoppages Number of workers involved Number of days idle

1947

270 1,629,000 25,720,000

1948

245 1,435,000 26,127,000

1949

262 2,537,000 43,420,000

1950

424 1,698,000 30,390,000

1951

415 1,462,000 15,070,000

1952

470 2,746,000 48,820,000

1953

437 1,623,000 18,130,000

1954

265 1,075,000 16,630,000

1955

363 2,055,000 21,180,000

1956

287 1,370,000 26,840,000

1957

279 887,000 10,340,000

1958

332 1,587,000 17,900,000

1959

245 1,381,000 60,850,000

1960

222 896,000 13,260,000

1961

195 1,031,000 10,140,000

1962

211 793,000 11,760,000

1963

181 512,000 10,020,000

1964

246 1,183,000 16,220,000

1965

268 999,000 15,140,000

1966

321 1,300,000 16,000,000

1967

381 2,192,000 31,320,000

1968

392 1,855,000 35,367,000

1969

412 1,576,000 29,397,000

1970

381 2,468,000 52,761,000

1971

298 2,516,000 35,538,000

1972

250 975,000 16,764,000

1973

317 1,400,000 16,260,000

1974

424 1,796,000 31,809,000

1975

235 965,000 17,563,000

1976

231 1,519,000 23,962,000

1977

298 1,212,000 21,258,000

1978

219 1,006,000 23,774,000

1979

235 1,021,000 20,409,000

1980

187 795,000 20,844,000

1981

145 729,000 16,908,000

1982

96 656,000 9,061,000

1983

81 909,000 17,461,000

1984

62 376,000 8,499,000

1985

54 324,000 7,079,000

1986

69 533,000 11,861,000

1987

46 174,000 4,481,000

1988

40 118,000 4,381,000

1989

51 452,000 16,996,000

1990

44 185,000 5,926,000

1991

40 392,000 4,584,000

1992

35 364,000 3,989,000

1993

35 182,000 3,981,000

1994

45 322,000 5,021,000

1995

31 192,000 5,771,000

1996

37 273,000 4,889,000

1997

29 339,000 4,497,000

1998

34 387,000 5,116,000

1999

17 73,000 1,996,000

2000

39 394,000 20,419,000

2001

29 99,000 1,151,000

2002

19 46,000 660,000

2003

14 129,000 4,091,000

2004

17 171,000 3,344,000

2005

22 100,000 1,736,000

2006

20 70,000 2,688,000

2007

21 189,000 1,265,000

2008

15 72,000 1,954,000

2009

5 13,000 124,000

2010

11 45,000 302,000

2011

19 113,000 1,020,000

2012

19 148,000 1,131,000

2013

15 55,000 290,000

2014

11 34,000 200,000

2015

12 47,000 740,000

2016

15 99,000 1,543,000

The largest major work stoppage in terms of number of workers and days idle in 2016 was between Verizon Communications and the Communication Workers of America union. The stoppage involved 36,500 workers and accounted for 1,204,500 days idle from April 13 to May 27, 2016. The second-largest strike in 2016 in terms of the number of workers involved was a 1-day stoppage by the City of Chicago Public Schools involving 27,000 workers (April 1). The second-largest stoppage in terms of number of days idle was between Allina Health and the Minnesota Nurses Association/National Nurses United union, which involved 4,800 workers with 153,600 days idle from two different work stoppages during the year (June 19–26; September 5–October 13). 

These data are from the Work Stoppages program. To learn more, see “Major Work Stoppages in 2016” (HTML) (PDF). Major work stoppages include both worker-initiated strikes and employer-initiated lockouts that involve 1,000 workers or more and last at least one shift. Days idle are calculated by multiplying the number of workers involved in the strike or lockout by the number of days workers are off the job, based on a 5-day workweek excluding federal holidays. 

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, 15 major work stoppages in 2016 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2017/15-major-work-stoppages-in-2016.htm (visited October 23, 2019).

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