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16 major work stoppages in 2021

March 02, 2022

In 2021, there were 16 major work stoppages beginning during the year. There were 8 major work stoppages beginning in 2020, and 25 in 2019. Between 2000 and 2021, an average of 17 work stoppages have begun each year. The lowest annual total of major work stoppages was 5 in 2009, while the highest was 470 in 1952. (These data begin in 1947.)

Major work stoppages, 1980–2021
Year Work stoppages Workers involved Days of idleness

1980

187 795,000 20,844,000

1981

145 728,900 16,908,400

1982

96 655,800 9,061,200

1983

81 909,400 17,460,700

1984

62 376,000 8,498,800

1985

54 323,900 7,079,100

1986

69 533,100 11,860,500

1987

46 174,400 4,481,400

1988

40 118,300 4,381,400

1989

51 452,100 16,996,300

1990

44 184,900 5,926,100

1991

40 392,000 4,583,600

1992

35 363,800 3,989,000

1993

35 181,900 3,981,200

1994

45 322,200 5,020,500

1995

31 191,500 5,771,200

1996

37 272,700 4,888,600

1997

29 338,600 4,497,100

1998

34 386,800 5,115,700

1999

17 72,600 1,995,800

2000

39 393,700 20,419,400

2001

29 99,100 1,151,300

2002

19 45,900 659,600

2003

14 129,200 4,091,200

2004

17 170,700 3,344,100

2005

22 99,600 1,736,100

2006

20 70,100 2,687,500

2007

21 189,200 1,264,800

2008

15 72,200 1,954,100

2009

5 12,500 124,100

2010

11 44,500 302,300

2011

19 112,500 1,020,200

2012

19 148,100 1,130,800

2013

15 54,500 289,900

2014

11 34,300 200,200

2015

12 47,300 740,000

2016

15 99,400 1,543,400

2017

7 25,300 439,800

2018

20 485,200 2,815,400

2019

25 425,500 3,244,300

2020

8 27,000 965,700

2021

16 80,700 1,551,900

There were 80,700 workers involved in major work stoppages that began in 2021. Work stoppages in service-providing industries accounted for 76 percent of idled workers during 2021. Major work stoppages resulted in approximately 1.6 million days of idleness during the year.

In 2021, there were 5 work stoppages in manufacturing, 4 in health care and social assistance, 3 in educational services, 2 in retail trade, 1 in construction and 1 in mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction.

Major work stoppages by industry, 2000–2021
Year Professional, scientific, and technical services Arts, entertainment, and recreation Finance and insurance Real Estate and rental and leasing Wholesale trade Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction Utilities Accommodation and food services

2000

1 0 0 2 2 0 0 1

2001

0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0

2002

0 0 2 0 0 0 1 0

2003

0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0

2004

0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2

2005

0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1

2006

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

2007

0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0

2008

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

2009

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

2010

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

2011

0 1 0 0 0 0 1 1

2012

0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0

2013

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

2014

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

2015

0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0

2016

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

2017

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

2018

0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2

2019

0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0

2020

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

2021

0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0

 

Major work stoppages by industry, 2000–2021
Year Administrative and support and waste management and remediation services Retail trade Information Public administration Transportation and warehousing Construction Health care and social assistance Educational services Manufacturing

2000

2 1 1 2 1 4 9 4 9

2001

0 2 0 1 1 8 7 3 5

2002

1 0 0 1 3 3 1 2 5

2003

1 3 0 1 2 1 0 2 3

2004

1 1 1 0 2 0 5 0 4

2005

0 0 0 0 4 6 0 3 6

2006

1 1 0 4 1 5 1 2 5

2007

1 0 1 0 5 3 2 4 4

2008

1 0 0 0 1 1 3 3 6

2009

0 0 0 0 1 1 0 2 1

2010

0 0 0 0 1 2 3 3 1

2011

0 0 1 0 0 6 6 1 2

2012

0 1 2 0 1 0 8 3 3

2013

1 0 0 3 3 1 5 1 1

2014

0 0 1 0 1 0 5 2 1

2015

0 0 0 2 0 0 2 3 4

2016

1 0 2 2 2 1 4 3 0

2017

0 1 2 2 0 0 1 1 0

2018

0 0 2 0 0 2 5 8 0

2019

0 1 1 0 0 0 6 13 3

2020

0 0 0 1 0 0 3 3 1

2021

0 2 0 0 0 1 4 3 5

Since 2000, the number of work stoppages in manufacturing has been between 0 and 9. Work stoppages in health care and social services have also ranged from 0 to 9. In educational services, the number of work stoggages beginning each year has ranged from 0 to 13 over the past 22 years.

These data are from the Work Stoppages program. See "Major Work Stoppages in 2021" to learn more. Also see the supplementary files for more 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, 16 major work stoppages in 2021 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2022/16-major-work-stoppages-in-2021.htm (visited August 18, 2022).

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