The 2021 State of the Sector Report is now available

A map of the United States is printed on a deep blue background featuring a photo of a forest. In the top left is the title “Worker Cooperatives and Democratic Workplaces In the United States.” To the right are text boxes with different statistics: “4,732 workers,” “612 businesses,” “$283.17 M gross revenue,” and the title “National Snapshot.” In the upper right are logos for the US Federation of Worker Coops and Democracy at Work Institute. The map is marked with population dots in different cities and labels for the cities. On the right hand side is text explaining some of the stats and then a legend for the map. At the bottom is a bar with the title “The Typical Worker Cooperative” and then stats in boxes: “Median size: 6 workers,” “2:1 Top-to-Bottom Pay Ratio,” “Average age: 5 years old,” and “$298,016 median firm revenue.”

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The 2021 Worker Cooperative State of the Sector is here, covering two years of cooperative business progress. This report on worker-owned business in the United States draws upon the latest developments in the field and deepens our understanding of the sector at a critical moment for worker-ownership. The report includes data on COVID’s impact on worker cooperatives, an updated map of metro areas home to worker cooperatives, along with a breakdown of business number totals in the top nine states and Puerto Rico. Altogether, the 612 businesses identified in the census reflect sector growth of more than 30% in two years. 

Here are just some highlights from our findings related to the impact of COVID-19 on worker co-ops:

  • During the pandemic, worker co-ops prioritized supporting their community & other cooperatives. 73% offered discounts or resources to meet community needs, 60% offered discounts or resources to another cooperative and 61% worked with local or regional mutual aid networks to meet a community need in 2021
  • In 2021, the Worker Co-op experience may have offered some resilience to majority Black, Indigenous and People of Color-led firms compared to the effects seen on conventional Black-owned businesses
  • While all types of small businesses suffered during the pandemic, only 20% of worker cooperatives surveyed lost over half of their revenue, compared to 28% of all small businesses who lost over half of their revenue in 2021

Click here to download the complete report 

More takeaways from this report were shared during our 2021 Worker Co-op Week convening – you can watch the State of the Sector presentation here!

The 2021 Worker Cooperative State of the Sector is a co-production of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives and the Democracy at Work Institute.

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