The number of worker cooperatives in the United States grew more than 30 percent since 2019, an astonishing figure when you consider the obstacles to new businesses during the pandemic. Through its bi-annual economic census completed in 2021, the Democracy at Work Institute (DAWI) verified 612 worker cooperatives employing 5,966 workers.
In 2019, DAWI identified 465 worker co-ops employing 6,454 workers. The worker co-ops verified in the census must have at least three workers and 50 percent ownership of the business. DAWI estimates that there are closer to 1,000 worker co-ops operating in the U.S., with 10,000 workers.