2021 Worker Cooperative State of the Sector Report

Covering two years of business progress, the 2021 Worker Cooperative State of the Sector is a report on worker-owned and democratic workplaces 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 2021 Worker Cooperative State of the Sector includes data on COVID’s impact on worker cooperatives, an updated map of metro areas home to concentrations of worker cooperatives, along with a breakdown of business number totals in the top 9 states and Puerto Rico. Altogether, the 612 businesses identified in the census reflect sector growth of more than 30% in two years.


The New Data


The latest set of data illustrates how COVID-19 impacted worker cooperatives and continued steady growth of the sector. Worker cooperatives, the data shows, performed slightly better than conventional businesses with regards to protecting revenue and support for workers throughout the pandemic. Worker cooperatives, the data shows, continue to have a high rate of success in early years, and growth of the worker cooperative movement is being driven by a significant number of startups. 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.


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