Democracy at Work Institute
Covering six years of business progress, the 2019 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 the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives. The report draws upon the latest developments in the field and deepens our understanding of the sector.
The 2019 Worker Cooperative State of the Sector includes an updated map of metro areas home to concentrations of worker cooperatives, along with a breakdown of business number totals in the top 16 states. Noteably, the map includes 50 confirmed worker cooperatives in Puerto Rico, greatly adding to the verified landscape of worker cooperatives and democratic workplaces.
The New Data
The latest set of data illustrates steady growth and reflects our expanded knowledge of existing firms. Worker cooperatives, the data shows, continue to enter startup operations at a rate of about 25 new firms per year, while the overall number of converted businesses continues to increase. The report also continues to show that growth of the worker cooperative movement is being driven by female workers and workers of color. For the first time in our annual State of the Sector series, we asked workplaces to identify the challenges they are facing, illuminating common challenges across the country. The report also sheds light on equitable pay ratios within worker-owned firms.
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.