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Wednesday, October 04, 2023

Strikes and the Impact on the Employment Report

by Calculated Risk on 10/04/2023 02:09:00 PM

Workers on strike during the reference week are not counted as employed in the BLS employment report. Every month, on the Friday before the release of the employment report, the BLS releases the CES Strike Report showing the number of workers on strike during the reference period.

September Strikes Click on chart for larger image.

In September, 17,700 workers were on strike, mostly the now settled writers' strike.    Ended strikes give a boost to the employment report (this was a few thousand in September).

This number will be closely watched in October with the UAW strike.  The Kaiser strike (75,000 workers) is scheduled for just 3 days and will not impact the October employment report.

Note that the reference week for October is next week.

A good example of the impact of a strike on the employment report is the AT&T strike in 1983 when 675,000 workers were on strike in August 1983.  The BLS reported job losses of over 300 thousand in August, and then a gain of over 1.1 million in September when the workers returned.

The Strike Report will be important to check on Friday, October 28th.