February 13, 2020

The State of Worker Cooperatives 2019

On January 29, the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives and the Democracy at Work Institute released their annual report on the state of worker cooperatives (registration required) in the U.S. The report notes that there are 465 known worker cooperatives, which is a slight increase from the 450 known cooperatives in the 2017 report. Worker cooperatives employ 6,454 people and generate annual revenue of approximately $505 million. They're situated throughout the country, with concentrations in the San Francisco Bay Area, the corridor from Washington, D.C., to Boston, and Puerto Rico. 

The report noted that the majority of worker cooperatives were founded as start-up businesses. A substantial minority (24%), however, converted to worker cooperatives from other business forms.

The report found that worker cooperatives have average entry wages of $19.67 per hour. They also pay a substantial amount of patronage, which is the share of the business's profits allocated to each worker: in 2019, the average worker-owner in the survey reported over $8,000 in patronage.