Covering six years of business progress, the 2019 Worker Cooperative State of the Sector is the latest report on the scope and impact of worker-owned business in the U.S. This report is a co-production of the Democracy at Work Institute (DAWI) and the U.S. 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, the average co-op pay rate, and a breakdown of business number totals in the top 16 states. Notably, the map includes 50 confirmed worker cooperatives in Puerto Rico, greatly adding to the verified landscape of worker cooperatives and democratic workplaces.
Steady Growth in Cooperatives
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 including health insurance, other worker benefits and administrative burdens.
The New Cooperative Wages
The report also sheds light on equitable pay ratios within worker-owned firms. The vast majority of worker cooperatives have maintained a 2-to-1 pay ratio between highest- and lowest-paid workers, compared to a CEO-to-worker pay ratio of 303-to-1 at the average U.S. corporation. Additionally, the average cooperative wage paid at all reporting worker cooperatives is $19.67 per hour, more than $7 higher than the minimum wage in the 13 states with the most worker co-ops.
Access the full report from DAWI by completing a short form.