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Work Stoppages

Work stoppages in healthcare and social assistance

The healthcare and social assistance sector comprises establishments providing healthcare and social assistance for individuals. The sector includes both healthcare and social assistance because it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between the boundaries of these two activities. The industries in this sector are arranged on a continuum starting with those establishments providing medical care exclusively, continuing with those providing healthcare and social assistance, and finally finishing with those providing only social assistance.

The healthcare and social assistance sector consists of these subsectors: (1) Ambulatory Healthcare Services: NAICS 621; (2) Hospitals: NAICS 622; (3) Nursing and Residential Care Facilities: NAICS 623; (4) Social Assistance: NAICS 624.

Between 1993 and 2020 there were 92 major work stoppages in healthcare and social assistance sector. Almost all (88 percent) occurred in hospitals. Nursing and residential care services, and ambulatory healthcare services accounted for about five percent each. Finally, the social assistance industry comprised about 2.5 percent. (See chart 1).

Chart 1. Work stoppages in healthcare and social assistance 1993-2020
 
  • See table for chart 1
    • Table 1. Number of major work stoppages in healthcare and social assistance industry by subsectors, 1993-2020
      Industry (NAICS) Major work stoppages

      Hospitals (622)

      81

      Nursing and Residential Care Facilities (623)

      4

      Ambulatory Healthcare Services (621)

      5

      Social Assistance (624)

      2

      Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Major Work Stoppages Program.

 

In oppose to educational services sector, where the vast majority of major work stoppages occurred at the state and local government level, the major work stoppages in healthcare and social assistance prevail in private sector by a great margin. (See chart 2).

Chart 2. Number of work stoppages in healthcare and social assistance by ownership 1993-2020
 
  • See table for chart 2
    • Table 2. Number of major work stoppages in healthcare and social assistance by ownership, 1993-2020
      Ownership Number of major work stoppages

      Private

      76

      State government

      9

      Local government

      7

      Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Major Work Stoppages Program.

 

There were 20,726,900 workers employed in healthcare and social assistance in January 2020 nationwide. Within the healthcare and social assistance industry, California had the highest number of workers employed in 2020, 2,471,600 (12 percent). California had the highest number of major work stoppages (52) registered in the state since 1993 as well. Moreover, the number of major work stoppages in California accounted for 56 percent of the total number.

Chart 3. Number of major work stoppages by state in healthcare and social assistance 1993-2020
 
  • See table for chart 3
    • Table 3. Number of major work stoppages in healthcare and social assistance industry by state, 1993-2020
      State Number of major work stoppages

      California

      52

      Washington

      6

      District of Columbia

      4

      Minnesota

      4

      New York

      4

      Rhode Island

      4

      Maryland

      3

      Oregon

      3

      Connecticut

      2

      Arizona

      1

      Colorado

      1

      Florida

      1

      Hawaii

      1

      Pennsylvania

      1

      Massachusetts

      1

      Missouri

      1

      New Jersey

      1

      Vermont

      1

      West Virginia

      1

      Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Major Work Stoppages Program.

 

California has the largest share of national employment in healthcare and social assistance industry, as well as the number of major work stoppages between 1993 and 2020.

Chart 4. Percent of total employment and work stoppages in healthcare and social assistance industry by state 1993-2020
 
  • See table for chart 4
    • Table 4. Percent of national employment and major work stoppages in healthcare and social assistance industry by state, 1993-2020
      State Employment share Major work stoppages

      California

      11.9% 56.5%

      Washington

      2.1% 6.5%

      District of Columbia

      0.3% 4.3%

      Minnesota

      2.4% 4.3%

      New York

      8.0% 4.3%

      Rhode Island

      0.4% 4.3%

      Maryland

      1.9% 3.3%

      Oregon

      1.3% 3.3%

      Connecticut

      1.4% 2.2%

      Colorado

      1.5% 1.1%

      Hawaii

      0.4% 1.1%

      Massachusetts

      3.1% 1.1%

      Missouri

      0.7% 1.1%

      New Jersey

      3.0% 1.1%

      Pennsylvania

      5.2% 1.1%

      Vermont

      0.3% 1.1%

      Florida

      5.7% 1.1%

      Arizona

      2.0% 1.1%

      West Virginia

      0.6% 1.1%

      Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Major Work Stoppages Program.

 

The longest work stoppage in the healthcare and social assistance industry between 1993 and 2020 occurred in 1996 in New York. Almost 6,000 workers participated in it. The number of work days lost was 48, while the overall length stretched through 66 calendar days. The Oregon Health and Sciences university in Portland, Oregon was the second longest with 37 lost work days and 56 calendar days. It was initiated by Oregon nurses association in 2001.

Chart 5. Longest work stoppages in healthcare and social assistance 1993-2020
 
  • See table for chart 5
    • Table 5. Longest work stoppages in healthcare and social assistance industry, 1993-2020
      Organization(s) involved State(s) Area(s) Ownership Union Work stoppage beginning date Work stoppage ending date Calendar days Work days lost Number of workers

      League of Voluntary Hospitals & Service Employees International Union

      NY New York Private Industry Service Employees International Union 6/24/1996 8/28/1996 66 48 5,800

      Oregon Health and Sciences University & Oregon Nurses Association

      OR Portland Private Industry Oregon Nurses Association 12/17/2001 2/10/2002 56 37 1,000

      Stanford Hospital and Clinics and Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital & Committee For Recognition of Nursing Achievement

      CA Palo Alto Private Industry Committee For Recognition of Nursing Achievement 6/7/2000 7/27/2000 51 36 1,700

      Washington Hospital Center & District of Columbia Nurses Association/American Nurses Association

      DC Washington Private Industry District of Columbia Nurses Association/American Nurses Association 9/20/2000 11/8/2000 50 35 1,000

      Kuakini Medical Center; Queen's Medical Center; St. Francis Medical Center & Hawaii Nurses Association/American Nurses Association[1]

      HI Honolulu Private Industry Hawaii Nurses Association/American Nurses Association 12/3/2002 1/16/2003 45 31 1,400

      [1] Stoppage began on 12/02/2002, but involved less than 1,000 workers until 12/03/2002. On 01/17/2003, the number of workers involved decreased below 1,000.

      Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Major Work Stoppages Program.

 

Three out of the five largest major work stoppages in the healthcare and social assistance between 1993 and 2020 happened in the private industry, however the largest one occurred in the state government. Also, four out of five happened in California. The largest number of workers involved in a major work stoppage was 53,000 in 2018. The dispute between the University of California medical center and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, the California Nurses Association and the University Professional and Technical Employees led to a 3 day work stoppage.

Chart 6. Largest work stoppages in healthcare and social assistance by number of workers involved 1993-2020
 
  • See table for chart 6
    • Table 6. Largest work stoppages in healthcare and social assistance industry by number of workers involved, 1993-2020
      Organization(s) involved State(s) Area(s) Ownership Union Work stoppage beginning date Work stoppage ending date Number of workers Days idle, cumulative for this work stoppage

      League of Voluntary Hospitals & Service Employees International Union

      NY New York Private Industry Service Employees International Union 6/24/1996 8/28/1996 5,800 272,600

      University of California Medical Centers & American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, California Nurses Association, University Professional and Technical Employees

      CA Statewide State Government American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, California Nurses Association, University Professional and Technical Employees 5/7/2018 5/9/2018 53,000 159,000

      Allina Health & Minnesota Nurses Association/National Nurses United

      MN Minneapolis- St. Paul Private Industry Minnesota Nurses Association/National Nurses United 9/5/2016 10/13/2016 4,800 129,600

      University of California Medical Centers[1]

      CA Statewide State government American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees 4/10/2019 11/13/2019 25,000 75,000

      Connecticut nursing homes & Service Employees International Union[2]

      CT Statewide Private Industry Service Employees International Union 5/2/2001 5/24/2001 4,600 69,700

      [1] Estimates based on identified closings on 4/10, 5/16 and 11/13.

      [2] Work stoppage started on 05/01/2001, and involve less than 1,000 workers until 05/02/2001. On 05/25/2001, the number decreased below 1,000 again.

      Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Major Work Stoppages Program.

 

The largest work stoppage in the healthcare and social assistance between 1993 and 2020 was registered in 1996 in New York with 272,000 days of cumulative idleness and 5,800 participants. The dispute between the League of Voluntary Hospitals and the Service Employees International Union lasted for 47 work days.

Chart 7. Largest work stoppages in educational services by days of idleness in thousands 1993-2020
 
  • See table for chart 7
    • Table 7. Largest work stoppages in healthcare and social assistance industry by days of idleness, 1993-2020
      Organization(s) involved State(s) Area(s) Ownership Union Work stoppage beginning date Work stoppage ending date Number of workers Days idle, cumulative for this work stoppage

      League of Voluntary Hospitals & Service Employees International Union

      NY New York Private Industry Service Employees International Union 6/24/1996 8/28/1996 5,800 272,600

      University of California Medical Centers & American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, California Nurses Association, University Professional and Technical Employees

      CA Statewide State Government American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, California Nurses Association, University Professional and Technical Employees 5/7/2018 5/9/2018 53,000 159,000

      Allina Health & Minnesota Nurses Association/National Nurses United

      MN Minneapolis- St. Paul Private Industry Minnesota Nurses Association/National Nurses United 9/5/2016 10/13/2016 4,800 129,600

      University of California Medical Centers[1]

      CA Statewide State government American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees 4/10/2019 11/13/2019 25,000 75,000

      Connecticut nursing homes & Service Employees International Union[2]

      CT Statewide Private Industry Service Employees International Union 5/2/2001 5/24/2001 4,600 69,700

      [1] Estimates based on identified closings on 4/10, 5/16 and 11/13.

      [2] Work stoppage started on 05/01/2001, and involve less than 1,000 workers until 05/02/2001. On 05/25/2001, the number decreased below 1,000 again.

      Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Major Work Stoppages Program.

 

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