Work Stoppages summary
Last Modified Date: February 09, 2017
For release 10:00 a.m. (EST) Thursday, February 9, 2017 USDL-17-0180
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MAJOR WORK STOPPAGES IN 2016
In 2016, there were 15 major work stoppages involving 99,000 workers, the U.S. Bureau of Labor
Statistics reported today. (See table 1.) Private industry organizations accounted for over 94
percent of the 1.54 million total days idle for major work stoppages in effect during 2016.
This year marks 70 years of work stoppages data collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Over the past four decades (1977-1986 to 2007-2016) major work stoppages declined approximately 90
percent. (See table A and table 1.) The period from 2007 to 2016 was the lowest decade on record, averaging
approximately 14 major work stoppages per year. The lowest annual number of major work stoppages
was 5 in 2009.
In 2016, the information industry had the largest number of workers involved in major work stoppages
with 38,200. Educational services were the next largest industry with 33,600 followed by health care
and social assistance with 12,100 workers. These three industries accounted for over
84 percent of workers idled for major work stoppages.
In 2016, the largest major work stoppage in terms of number of workers and days idle was between
Verizon Communications and the Communication Workers of America union involving 36,500 workers. This
work stoppage accounted for 1,204,500 total days idle. The second largest work stoppage in 2016 in
days idle was between Allina Health and the Minnesota Nurses Association/National Nurses United union,
involving 4,800 workers with 153,600 days idle from two different work stoppages that occurred during
2016. The City of Chicago Public Schools had a 1-day stoppage with the second most number of workers,
involving 27,000 employees.
Table A. Total number of major work stoppages by decade, 1947 to 2016
Years: 1947-1956 1957-1966 1967-1976 1977-1986 1987-1996 1997-2006 2007-2016
Number: 3,438 2,500 3,321 1,446 404 240 143