2017 Worker Cooperative State of the Sector Report

Covering five years of business progress, the 2017 Worker Cooperative State of the Sector is a report on worker-owned business in the United States. This report is a co-production of Democracy at Work Institute and U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives, drawing upon the latest developments in the field, and deepens our understanding of the sector.

This latest set of data illustrates modest but steady growth, and reflects our growing knowledge of existing firms. Still, the worker-owned businesses continue to enter startup operations at a rate of about 25 new firms per year, in addition to the growth of converted businesses.

The 2017 Worker Cooperative State of the Sector includes an updated map of metro areas with a concentration of worker cooperatives, along with a breakdown of business number totals in the top 15 states. Most notable is the inclusion of 50 confirmed worker cooperatives in Puerto Rico, which greatly adds to the overall number of confirmed worker cooperatives and democratic workplaces. Additionally, the data shows a rise in female-identifying workers, and a consistent pay of 2-to-1, which far outstrips conventional businesses.

We are grateful to the participating worker cooperatives and democratic businesses for their involvement, as well as our funders and partners that support this work.