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Economic News Release
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Work Stoppages Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (ET) Friday, February 19, 2021	                                    USDL-21-0280

Technical information:	(202) 691-6199     workstoppagesinfo@bls.gov     www.bls.gov/wsp
Media contact:	        (202) 691-5902     pressoffice@bls.gov


                                   MAJOR WORK STOPPAGES IN 2020

(NOTE: This news release was reissued on March 1, 2021, adding 1 work stoppage in 2020. 
Additional information is available at www.bls.gov/errata/home.htm?errataID=83666.)

In 2020, there were 8 major work stoppages beginning in the year, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 
reported today. A major work stoppage involves 1,000 or more workers and lasts at least one shift 
during the work week, Monday through Friday excluding Federal holidays. This year had the third 
lowest number of major work stoppages since the series began in 1947. The lowest annual total was 5 
in 2009, followed by 7 in 2017. For the past 20 years, on average, there have been 16 work stoppages 
beginning in the year.

There were 27,000 workers involved in major work stoppages that began in 2020. The education and 
health services industry supersector accounted for over 75 percent of idled workers. Within these 
sectors, 21,700 workers were idled for 26 cumulative days. In 2017, 25,300 workers were idled and the 
information sector accounted for the majority of idled workers at 15,000 workers. In 2009, 12,500 
workers were idled with almost half of the idled workers coming from one stoppage in the transportation
and warehousing sector.

State and local government accounted for 6 of the 8 work stoppages in 2020, compared to the 3 stoppages 
in both 2009 and 2017.

In 2020, 14,900 state and local government workers were idled for 25 workdays resulting in a total of
69,100 days of idleness.  

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Data Correction 
The BLS has issued a correction to work stoppage data from February 2018 to December 2020. 
Additional information is available at www.bls.gov/errata/home.htm?errataID=83510.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on the 2020 Major Work Stoppages
Data collection for Major Work Stoppages was not impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 
Additional information is available at www.bls.gov/covid19/effects-of-covid-19-on-workplace-injuries-
and-illnesses-compensation-and-occupational-requirements.htm#work-stoppages.
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Last Modified Date: March 01, 2021