Work absences due to bad weather from 1994 to 2016

January 25, 2017

Major weather events such as snowstorms and hurricanes often lead to business closures and absences from work. Typically, workers are more likely to be absent because of bad weather during winter months. Winter causes more weather-related work absences because ice and snowstorms may affect much larger areas than other weather events. Snow and ice storms often make transportation to work either difficult or impossible. 

For a weather-related work absence to be captured in BLS data, it must occur during the survey reference week, which includes the twelfth day of the month. From 1994 to 2016, there were 5 snowstorms that caused over 4 million full-time workers who usually worked 35 or more hours per week to work less than 35 hours during the reference week. Among those snowstorms, a storm that occurred in January 1996 caused 10.4 million workers to work less than 35 hours.

Number of full-time workers who usually worked 35 or more hours per week at work 1–34 hours due to bad weather, nonagricultural industries, 1994–2016
Month Employed at work 1-34 hours due to bad weather Notable weather event

Jan 1994

1,572,000 None

Feb 1994

6,588,000 Snowstorm

Mar 1994

700,000 None

Apr 1994

290,000 None

May 1994

203,000 None

Jun 1994

138,000 None

Jul 1994

263,000 None

Aug 1994

189,000 None

Sep 1994

127,000 None

Oct 1994

276,000 None

Nov 1994

322,000 None

Dec 1994

548,000 None

Jan 1995

663,000 None

Feb 1995

867,000 None

Mar 1995

317,000 None

Apr 1995

342,000 None

May 1995

554,000 None

Jun 1995

213,000 None

Jul 1995

253,000 None

Aug 1995

174,000 None

Sep 1995

120,000 None

Oct 1995

187,000 None

Nov 1995

324,000 None

Dec 1995

487,000 None

Jan 1996

10,433,000 Snowstorm

Feb 1996

1,047,000 None

Mar 1996

423,000 None

Apr 1996

370,000 None

May 1996

267,000 None

Jun 1996

198,000 None

Jul 1996

345,000 None

Aug 1996

168,000 None

Sep 1996

442,000 None

Oct 1996

204,000 None

Nov 1996

282,000 None

Dec 1996

397,000 None

Jan 1997

3,079,000 None

Feb 1997

737,000 None

Mar 1997

529,000 None

Apr 1997

427,000 None

May 1997

158,000 None

Jun 1997

329,000 None

Jul 1997

123,000 None

Aug 1997

197,000 None

Sep 1997

131,000 None

Oct 1997

170,000 None

Nov 1997

529,000 None

Dec 1997

429,000 None

Jan 1998

1,236,000 None

Feb 1998

607,000 None

Mar 1998

1,106,000 None

Apr 1998

351,000 None

May 1998

225,000 None

Jun 1998

364,000 None

Jul 1998

107,000 None

Aug 1998

75,000 None

Sep 1998

286,000 None

Oct 1998

136,000 None

Nov 1998

370,000 None

Dec 1998

245,000 None

Jan 1999

3,096,000 None

Feb 1999

328,000 None

Mar 1999

804,000 None

Apr 1999

299,000 None

May 1999

328,000 None

Jun 1999

162,000 None

Jul 1999

190,000 None

Aug 1999

117,000 None

Sep 1999

3,355,000 Hurricane Floyd

Oct 1999

416,000 None

Nov 1999

55,000 None

Dec 1999

221,000 None

Jan 2000

332,000 None

Feb 2000

352,000 None

Mar 2000

357,000 None

Apr 2000

419,000 None

May 2000

200,000 None

Jun 2000

224,000 None

Jul 2000

133,000 None

Aug 2000

159,000 None

Sep 2000

160,000 None

Oct 2000

214,000 None

Nov 2000

379,000 None

Dec 2000

420,000 None

Jan 2001

523,000 None

Feb 2001

562,000 None

Mar 2001

434,000 None

Apr 2001

269,000 None

May 2001

110,000 None

Jun 2001

332,000 None

Jul 2001

87,000 None

Aug 2001

119,000 None

Sep 2001

301,000 None

Oct 2001

194,000 None

Nov 2001

141,000 None

Dec 2001

324,000 None

Jan 2002

441,000 None

Feb 2002

141,000 None

Mar 2002

352,000 None

Apr 2002

232,000 None

May 2002

264,000 None

Jun 2002

236,000 None

Jul 2002

184,000 None

Aug 2002

177,000 None

Sep 2002

169,000 None

Oct 2002

425,000 None

Nov 2002

330,000 None

Dec 2002

2,871,000 None

Jan 2003

1,036,000 None

Feb 2003

1,032,000 None

Mar 2003

405,000 None

Apr 2003

504,000 None

May 2003

348,000 None

Jun 2003

389,000 None

Jul 2003

254,000 None

Aug 2003

167,000 None

Sep 2003

247,000 None

Oct 2003

76,000 None

Nov 2003

256,000 None

Dec 2003

570,000 None

Jan 2004

652,000 None

Feb 2004

601,000 None

Mar 2004

258,000 None

Apr 2004

268,000 None

May 2004

287,000 None

Jun 2004

408,000 None

Jul 2004

186,000 None

Aug 2004

807,000 None

Sep 2004

1,894,000 None

Oct 2004

320,000 None

Nov 2004

297,000 None

Dec 2004

444,000 None

Jan 2005

965,000 None

Feb 2005

572,000 None

Mar 2005

457,000 None

Apr 2005

239,000 None

May 2005

254,000 None

Jun 2005

232,000 None

Jul 2005

358,000 None

Aug 2005

238,000 None

Sep 2005

211,000 Post-Hurricane Katrina

Oct 2005

337,000 None

Nov 2005

245,000 None

Dec 2005

1,713,000 None

Jan 2006

312,000 None

Feb 2006

731,000 None

Mar 2006

467,000 None

Apr 2006

283,000 None

May 2006

365,000 None

Jun 2006

218,000 None

Jul 2006

233,000 None

Aug 2006

123,000 None

Sep 2006

418,000 None

Oct 2006

414,000 None

Nov 2006

375,000 None

Dec 2006

441,000 None

Jan 2007

934,000 None

Feb 2007

3,838,000 Snowstorm

Mar 2007

451,000 None

Apr 2007

517,000 None

May 2007

167,000 None

Jun 2007

232,000 None

Jul 2007

274,000 None

Aug 2007

217,000 None

Sep 2007

149,000 None

Oct 2007

143,000 None

Nov 2007

121,000 None

Dec 2007

698,000 None

Jan 2008

389,000 None

Feb 2008

1,044,000 None

Mar 2008

286,000 None

Apr 2008

322,000 None

May 2008

258,000 None

Jun 2008

228,000 None

Jul 2008

126,000 None

Aug 2008

198,000 None

Sep 2008

1,135,000 None

Oct 2008

114,000 None

Nov 2008

191,000 None

Dec 2008

904,000 None

Jan 2009

963,000 None

Feb 2009

320,000 None

Mar 2009

312,000 None

Apr 2009

248,000 None

May 2009

196,000 None

Jun 2009

201,000 None

Jul 2009

110,000 None

Aug 2009

83,000 None

Sep 2009

123,000 None

Oct 2009

466,000 None

Nov 2009

459,000 None

Dec 2009

1,235,000 None

Jan 2010

342,000 None

Feb 2010

5,344,000 Snowstorm

Mar 2010

293,000 None

Apr 2010

145,000 None

May 2010

290,000 None

Jun 2010

147,000 None

Jul 2010

164,000 None

Aug 2010

106,000 None

Sep 2010

121,000 None

Oct 2010

67,000 None

Nov 2010

143,000 None

Dec 2010

356,000 None

Jan 2011

4,857,000 Snowstorm

Feb 2011

1,927,000 None

Mar 2011

293,000 None

Apr 2011

238,000 None

May 2011

294,000 None

Jun 2011

135,000 None

Jul 2011

65,000 None

Aug 2011

65,000 None

Sep 2011

124,000 None

Oct 2011

216,000 None

Nov 2011

212,000 None

Dec 2011

259,000 None

Jan 2012

357,000 None

Feb 2012

290,000 None

Mar 2012

181,000 None

Apr 2012

141,000 None

May 2012

176,000 None

Jun 2012

114,000 None

Jul 2012

234,000 None

Aug 2012

101,000 None

Sep 2012

107,000 None

Oct 2012

67,000 None

Nov 2012

1,075,000 Post-Hurricane Sandy

Dec 2012

165,000 None

Jan 2013

338,000 None

Feb 2013

695,000 None

Mar 2013

261,000 None

Apr 2013

329,000 None

May 2013

144,000 None

Jun 2013

182,000 None

Jul 2013

242,000 None

Aug 2013

126,000 None

Sep 2013

195,000 None

Oct 2013

157,000 None

Nov 2013

164,000 None

Dec 2013

1,693,000 None

Jan 2014

694,000 None

Feb 2014

6,855,000 Snowstorm

Mar 2014

612,000 None

Apr 2014

192,000 None

May 2014

214,000 None

Jun 2014

180,000 None

Jul 2014

73,000 None

Aug 2014

157,000 None

Sep 2014

252,000 None

Oct 2014

185,000 None

Nov 2014

318,000 None

Dec 2014

438,000 None

Jan 2015

585,000 None

Feb 2015

1,433,000 None

Mar 2015

531,000 None

Apr 2015

342,000 None

May 2015

325,000 None

Jun 2015

225,000 None

Jul 2015

160,000 None

Aug 2015

112,000 None

Sep 2015

89,000 None

Oct 2015

94,000 None

Nov 2015

239,000 None

Dec 2015

208,000 None

Jan 2016

414,000 None

Feb 2016

720,000 None

Mar 2016

353,000 None

Apr 2016

263,000 None

May 2016

346,000 None

Jun 2016

112,000 None

Jul 2016

132,000 None

Aug 2016

315,000 None

Sep 2016

68,000 None

Oct 2016

569,000 Hurricane Matthew

Nov 2016

113,000 None

Dec 2016

630,000 None

While Hurricanes Katrina (late August 2005), Sandy (late October 2012), and Matthew (early October 2016) led to significant damage, all three hit prior to the reference week in which employment was surveyed. In September 1999, Hurricane Floyd hit the East Coast during the reference week and caused 3.4 million full-time workers who usually worked 35 or more hours per week to work less than 35 hours during the reference week.

During the 1994–2016 period, there were 2 snowstorms that caused over 1 million workers to be absent from work for the reference week. A storm that occurred in January 1996 caused 1.8 million workers to miss work, while another in February 2010 caused 1,031,000 workers to be absent from work. Hurricane Floyd led to 120,000 absences from work.

Number of workers not at work due to bad weather, nonagricultural industries, 1994–2016
Month Employed not at work due to bad weather Notable weather event

Jan 1994

447,000 None

Feb 1994

536,000 Snowstorm

Mar 1994

141,000 None

Apr 1994

43,000 None

May 1994

58,000 None

Jun 1994

31,000 None

Jul 1994

28,000 None

Aug 1994

40,000 None

Sep 1994

12,000 None

Oct 1994

87,000 None

Nov 1994

47,000 None

Dec 1994

82,000 None

Jan 1995

255,000 None

Feb 1995

192,000 None

Mar 1995

103,000 None

Apr 1995

59,000 None

May 1995

95,000 None

Jun 1995

23,000 None

Jul 1995

28,000 None

Aug 1995

29,000 None

Sep 1995

18,000 None

Oct 1995

46,000 None

Nov 1995

41,000 None

Dec 1995

107,000 None

Jan 1996

1,846,000 Snowstorm

Feb 1996

260,000 None

Mar 1996

98,000 None

Apr 1996

61,000 None

May 1996

53,000 None

Jun 1996

22,000 None

Jul 1996

43,000 None

Aug 1996

17,000 None

Sep 1996

82,000 None

Oct 1996

23,000 None

Nov 1996

70,000 None

Dec 1996

103,000 None

Jan 1997

496,000 None

Feb 1997

151,000 None

Mar 1997

118,000 None

Apr 1997

99,000 None

May 1997

16,000 None

Jun 1997

58,000 None

Jul 1997

20,000 None

Aug 1997

50,000 None

Sep 1997

27,000 None

Oct 1997

23,000 None

Nov 1997

135,000 None

Dec 1997

131,000 None

Jan 1998

307,000 None

Feb 1998

259,000 None

Mar 1998

238,000 None

Apr 1998

72,000 None

May 1998

46,000 None

Jun 1998

35,000 None

Jul 1998

35,000 None

Aug 1998

11,000 None

Sep 1998

50,000 None

Oct 1998

15,000 None

Nov 1998

70,000 None

Dec 1998

55,000 None

Jan 1999

405,000 None

Feb 1999

96,000 None

Mar 1999

112,000 None

Apr 1999

62,000 None

May 1999

34,000 None

Jun 1999

17,000 None

Jul 1999

24,000 None

Aug 1999

13,000 None

Sep 1999

120,000 Hurricane Floyd

Oct 1999

43,000 None

Nov 1999

15,000 None

Dec 1999

59,000 None

Jan 2000

125,000 None

Feb 2000

197,000 None

Mar 2000

66,000 None

Apr 2000

78,000 None

May 2000

28,000 None

Jun 2000

42,000 None

Jul 2000

11,000 None

Aug 2000

21,000 None

Sep 2000

12,000 None

Oct 2000

13,000 None

Nov 2000

102,000 None

Dec 2000

134,000 None

Jan 2001

271,000 None

Feb 2001

311,000 None

Mar 2001

107,000 None

Apr 2001

50,000 None

May 2001

23,000 None

Jun 2001

47,000 None

Jul 2001

22,000 None

Aug 2001

16,000 None

Sep 2001

12,000 None

Oct 2001

36,000 None

Nov 2001

29,000 None

Dec 2001

66,000 None

Jan 2002

216,000 None

Feb 2002

122,000 None

Mar 2002

117,000 None

Apr 2002

37,000 None

May 2002

44,000 None

Jun 2002

33,000 None

Jul 2002

43,000 None

Aug 2002

14,000 None

Sep 2002

19,000 None

Oct 2002

60,000 None

Nov 2002

58,000 None

Dec 2002

218,000 None

Jan 2003

245,000 None

Feb 2003

288,000 None

Mar 2003

140,000 None

Apr 2003

127,000 None

May 2003

84,000 None

Jun 2003

88,000 None

Jul 2003

43,000 None

Aug 2003

22,000 None

Sep 2003

28,000 None

Oct 2003

31,000 None

Nov 2003

43,000 None

Dec 2003

145,000 None

Jan 2004

264,000 None

Feb 2004

302,000 None

Mar 2004

128,000 None

Apr 2004

66,000 None

May 2004

59,000 None

Jun 2004

45,000 None

Jul 2004

26,000 None

Aug 2004

49,000 None

Sep 2004

205,000 None

Oct 2004

81,000 None

Nov 2004

90,000 None

Dec 2004

110,000 None

Jan 2005

305,000 None

Feb 2005

222,000 None

Mar 2005

147,000 None

Apr 2005

36,000 None

May 2005

20,000 None

Jun 2005

16,000 None

Jul 2005

68,000 None

Aug 2005

38,000 None

Sep 2005

210,000 Post-Hurricane Katrina

Oct 2005

130,000 None

Nov 2005

113,000 None

Dec 2005

232,000 None

Jan 2006

193,000 None

Feb 2006

210,000 None

Mar 2006

223,000 None

Apr 2006

64,000 None

May 2006

101,000 None

Jun 2006

22,000 None

Jul 2006

48,000 None

Aug 2006

16,000 None

Sep 2006

23,000 None

Oct 2006

61,000 None

Nov 2006

70,000 None

Dec 2006

154,000 None

Jan 2007

353,000 None

Feb 2007

505,000 Snowstorm

Mar 2007

162,000 None

Apr 2007

107,000 None

May 2007

22,000 None

Jun 2007

22,000 None

Jul 2007

45,000 None

Aug 2007

28,000 None

Sep 2007

18,000 None

Oct 2007

32,000 None

Nov 2007

44,000 None

Dec 2007

187,000 None

Jan 2008

296,000 None

Feb 2008

289,000 None

Mar 2008

197,000 None

Apr 2008

108,000 None

May 2008

51,000 None

Jun 2008

35,000 None

Jul 2008

23,000 None

Aug 2008

29,000 None

Sep 2008

188,000 None

Oct 2008

47,000 None

Nov 2008

89,000 None

Dec 2008

198,000 None

Jan 2009

307,000 None

Feb 2009

199,000 None

Mar 2009

126,000 None

Apr 2009

65,000 None

May 2009

79,000 None

Jun 2009

23,000 None

Jul 2009

20,000 None

Aug 2009

19,000 None

Sep 2009

45,000 None

Oct 2009

105,000 None

Nov 2009

90,000 None

Dec 2009

241,000 None

Jan 2010

259,000 None

Feb 2010

1,031,000 Snowstorm

Mar 2010

135,000 None

Apr 2010

28,000 None

May 2010

39,000 None

Jun 2010

26,000 None

Jul 2010

25,000 None

Aug 2010

31,000 None

Sep 2010

17,000 None

Oct 2010

37,000 None

Nov 2010

40,000 None

Dec 2010

179,000 None

Jan 2011

886,000 Snowstorm

Feb 2011

395,000 None

Mar 2011

151,000 None

Apr 2011

62,000 None

May 2011

55,000 None

Jun 2011

18,000 None

Jul 2011

20,000 None

Aug 2011

13,000 None

Sep 2011

50,000 None

Oct 2011

41,000 None

Nov 2011

60,000 None

Dec 2011

127,000 None

Jan 2012

206,000 None

Feb 2012

178,000 None

Mar 2012

96,000 None

Apr 2012

51,000 None

May 2012

19,000 None

Jun 2012

26,000 None

Jul 2012

68,000 None

Aug 2012

30,000 None

Sep 2012

17,000 None

Oct 2012

22,000 None

Nov 2012

369,000 Post-Hurricane Sandy

Dec 2012

84,000 None

Jan 2013

232,000 None

Feb 2013

237,000 None

Mar 2013

117,000 None

Apr 2013

96,000 None

May 2013

25,000 None

Jun 2013

26,000 None

Jul 2013

43,000 None

Aug 2013

34,000 None

Sep 2013

37,000 None

Oct 2013

30,000 None

Nov 2013

37,000 None

Dec 2013

273,000 None

Jan 2014

262,000 None

Feb 2014

601,000 Snowstorm

Mar 2014

148,000 None

Apr 2014

63,000 None

May 2014

47,000 None

Jun 2014

31,000 None

Jul 2014

10,000 None

Aug 2014

11,000 None

Sep 2014

12,000 None

Oct 2014

32,000 None

Nov 2014

153,000 None

Dec 2014

148,000 None

Jan 2015

201,000 None

Feb 2015

328,000 None

Mar 2015

182,000 None

Apr 2015

101,000 None

May 2015

59,000 None

Jun 2015

48,000 None

Jul 2015

25,000 None

Aug 2015

17,000 None

Sep 2015

27,000 None

Oct 2015

29,000 None

Nov 2015

97,000 None

Dec 2015

125,000 None

Jan 2016

269,000 None

Feb 2016

228,000 None

Mar 2016

192,000 None

Apr 2016

45,000 None

May 2016

73,000 None

Jun 2016

10,000 None

Jul 2016

36,000 None

Aug 2016

79,000 None

Sep 2016

24,000 None

Oct 2016

238,000 Hurricane Matthew

Nov 2016

19,000 None

Dec 2016

159,000 None

These data are from the Current Population Survey and are not seasonally adjusted. The survey reference period is the calendar week (Sunday through Saturday) that includes the twelfth day of the month. In November and December, the reference period is modified to avoid major holidays that could impede data collection.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Work absences due to bad weather from 1994 to 2016 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2017/work-absences-due-to-bad-weather-from-1994-to-2016.htm (visited December 14, 2017).

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