Neat labor strike data from the CPS

As I mentioned in a prior post, I am going to be playing around with monthly Current Population Survey microdata to produce some datasets of interest to me. Today I decided to look into what percent of the employed adult civilian population answered that they were absent from work due to a labor dispute. The following graph is the result.

The data presented here only goes back to 1994, but there is CPS data that goes back further, and I will try to incorporate that soon (update: numbers going back to 1976 are now incorporated in my labor strikes dataset). What’s neat about the data is that you can see the big strikes of the last 19 years by looking at the spikes. Those three big spikes in the middle — the only spikes getting above the 0.04% line — correspond to the following strikes:

  • August 1997 — Teamsters strike UPS (PBS, Youtube)
  • August 2000 — Communication Workers of America strike Verizon (CNN, New York Times)
  • October 2003 — United Food and Commercial Workers strike California supermarkets (CNN, BLS, Wikipedia)