Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

8 major work stoppages began during 2020

March 04, 2021

There were 8 major work stoppages beginning during 2020. This year had the third lowest number of major work stoppages since the data began in 1947. The lowest annual total was 5 in 2009, followed by 7 in 2017.

Number of major work stoppages and number of workers involved, work stoppages beginning each year, 1950–2020
Year Number of work stoppages Number of workers involved

1950

424 1,698,000

1951

415 1,462,000

1952

470 2,746,000

1953

437 1,623,000

1954

265 1,075,000

1955

363 2,055,000

1956

287 1,370,000

1957

279 887,000

1958

332 1,587,000

1959

245 1,381,000

1960

222 896,000

1961

195 1,031,000

1962

211 793,000

1963

181 512,000

1964

246 1,183,000

1965

268 999,000

1966

321 1,300,000

1967

381 2,192,000

1968

392 1,855,000

1969

412 1,576,000

1970

381 2,468,000

1971

298 2,516,000

1972

250 975,000

1973

317 1,400,000

1974

424 1,796,000

1975

235 965,000

1976

231 1,519,000

1977

298 1,212,000

1978

219 1,006,000

1979

235 1,021,000

1980

187 795,000

1981

145 728,900

1982

96 655,800

1983

81 909,400

1984

62 376,000

1985

54 323,900

1986

69 533,100

1987

46 174,400

1988

40 118,300

1989

51 452,100

1990

44 184,900

1991

40 392,000

1992

35 363,800

1993

35 181,900

1994

45 322,200

1995

31 191,500

1996

37 272,700

1997

29 338,600

1998

34 386,800

1999

17 72,600

2000

39 393,700

2001

29 99,100

2002

19 45,900

2003

14 129,200

2004

17 170,700

2005

22 99,600

2006

20 70,100

2007

21 189,200

2008

15 72,200

2009

5 12,500

2010

11 44,500

2011

19 112,500

2012

19 148,100

2013

15 54,500

2014

11 34,300

2015

12 47,300

2016

15 99,400

2017

7 25,300

2018

20 485,200

2019

25 425,500

2020

8 27,000

Note: Major work stoppages include both worker-initiated strikes and employer-initiated lockouts that involve 1,000 or more workers and last at least one shift.

There were 27,000 workers involved in major work stoppages that began in 2020. Education and health services accounted for over 75 percent of idled workers. In 2017, 25,300 workers were idled, the majority in information. In 2009, 12,500 workers were idled with almost half in transportation and warehousing.

From 2001 to 2020, there have been 16 work stoppages, on average, beginning each year. There was an average of 52 work stoppages beginning each year between 1981 and 2000. The number of work stoppages beginning each year averaged 284 from 1961 to 1980. 

These data are from the Work Stoppages program. See "Major Work Stoppages in 2020" to learn more. See the supplementary files accompanying the news release for more detailed information. Major work stoppages include both worker-initiated strikes and employer-initiated lockouts that involve 1,000 or more workers and last at least one shift.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, 8 major work stoppages began during 2020 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2021/8-major-work-stoppages-began-during-2020.htm (visited October 18, 2021).

OF INTEREST
spotlight

Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics

triangle