United Auto Workers union members striking in October 2019. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

3.24 million work days were lost to labor strikes and lockouts in 2019, the most since 2004, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Why it matters: Labor disputes can cost workers and businesses in missed wages, decreased productivity and stunted revenues.

By the numbers: There were 25 labor disputes involving more than 1,000 workers last year, the most since 2001.

  • 425,500 workers joined work stoppages, with 270,000 in the educational services industry alone.

Between the lines: Labor disputes may increase when the job market tightens, giving workers more leverage in negotiations for higher wages or expanded benefits, according to the Wall Street Journal.

  • The unemployment rate fell to a 50-year low in 2019, but wages only increased by 2.9% — the lowest level in a year and a half and well below the 2018 average of 3.3%, Axios' Dion Rabouin reports.
  • United Auto Workers' 40-day General Motors strike was the largest dispute, totaling 1.33 million days of lost labor and involving 46,000 workers.
  • GM reported a profit hit of 8.7% in Q3 of 2019 as a result of the stoppage.

The big picture: Labor union membership fell by 0.2% in 2019, Axios' Orion Rummler reports.

  • Only 10.3% (14.6 million) of wage and salary workers said they were union members, and around half of the members lived in just seven states — California, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio and Washington.

Go deeper: Unions shrink fast in swing states

Go deeper

Updated 53 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 21,020,216 — Total deaths: 761,393— Total recoveries: 13,048,303Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 5,289,323 — Total deaths: 167,948 — Total recoveries: 1,774,648 — Total tests: 64,831,306Map.
  3. Health: CDC: Survivors of COVID-19 have up to three months of immunity Fauci believes normalcy will return by "the end of 2021" with vaccine — The pandemic's toll on mental health.
  4. Business: How small businesses got stiffed — Unemployment starts moving in the right direction.
  5. Cities: Coronavirus pandemic dims NYC's annual 9/11 Tribute in Light.
  6. Politics: Biden signals fall strategy with new ads.

Harris: "Women are going to be a priority" in Biden administration

Sen. Kamala Harris at an event in Wilmington, Del. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

In her first sit-down interview since being named Joe Biden's running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris talked about what she'll do to fight for women if elected VP, and how the Democrats are thinking about voter turnout strategies ahead of November.

What they're saying: "In a Biden-Harris administration women are going to be a priority, understanding that women have many priorities and all of them must be acknowledged," Harris told The 19th*'s Errin Haines-Whack.

Facebook goes after Apple

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Facebook is seeking to force a face-off with Apple over its 30% in-app purchase commission fee, which Facebook suggests hurts small businesses struggling to get by during the pandemic.

The big picture: Facebook has never publicly gone after Apple, a key strategic partner, this aggressively. Both companies face antitrust scrutiny, which in Apple's case has centered on the very fee structure Facebook is now attacking.