U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Work Stoppages: Program History
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has published two work stoppage series. The first ran
from 1947 through 1981. The second began in 1982, but contains data starting with 1947.
Both include administrative data collected through available news sources and verified by
the parties where possible.
Under the first work stoppage program:
- The Bureau reported all work stoppages in the United States that involved six workers or
more and continued for the equivalent of a full day or shift or longer.
- Information on the actual or probable existence of work stoppages was collected from a
number of sources.
- Clippings on labor disputes were obtained from a comprehensive coverage of daily and
weekly newspapers throughout the country.
- Information was also regularly received from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation
Service and state labor-related agencies.
- Questionnaires were then sent to the parties who furnished the Bureau with information
on a voluntary basis.
- The data were compiled and published each year.
- Because of budget reductions, the series was terminated in January 1982. Detailed
statistical data were printed beginning in 1941 in the annual reports, commonly referred
to as the "Analysis of Work Stoppage" bulletins. (The last bulletin, containing
1980 data, was published in March 1982.)
In February 1982, the Bureau initiated its major work stoppage series:
- That series includes stoppages idling 1,000 workers or more for the equivalent of a full
day or shift or longer.
- Using data from the old series, the major work stoppage series was extended back to
include data starting with 1947.
Last Modified Date: September 28, 2007