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Employment trends in electronic shopping

April 10, 2020

As Americans follow the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to protect themselves and others from the spread of COVID-19, we have changed many of our daily activities. That includes shopping. Many people are shopping online instead of visiting their favorite retail establishments.

Employment in electronic shopping and mail-order houses was about 401,000 at the end of third quarter 2019. That was nearly double the employment level in 2001. The number of establishments in the industry has grown even more. There were 32,553 establishments in the industry in third quarter 2019, nearly 4 times as many as in 2001. Average wages in the industry were $1,538 per week in third quarter 2019. That compares with an average weekly wage of $1,093 for all workers in the United States.

Employment, establishments, and average weekly wages in private electronic shopping and mail-order houses, third quarter 2001–19
Quarter Employment Establishments Average weekly wages

Q3 2001

233,300 8,838 $642

Q3 2002

213,842 9,020 656

Q3 2003

211,993 9,455 667

Q3 2004

220,582 10,474 705

Q3 2005

230,126 11,759 770

Q3 2006

233,021 12,988 786

Q3 2007

241,493 14,089 805

Q3 2008

245,710 14,874 854

Q3 2009

236,178 15,565 872

Q3 2010

241,623 16,227 919

Q3 2011

259,480 17,452 986

Q3 2012

277,156 18,838 1,020

Q3 2013

296,643 20,532 1,026

Q3 2014

325,027 22,134 1,073

Q3 2015

341,877 23,783 1,126

Q3 2016

374,283 25,067 1,234

Q3 2017

412,705 26,997 1,272

Q3 2018

402,970 29,903 1,460

Q3 2019

401,394 32,553 1,538

Washington state had the highest concentration of employment in electronic shopping and mail-order houses. In September 2019, the industry’s employment share in Washington was more than 6 times higher than the national share of employment in the industry. Utah, New Hampshire, Arizona, and Wisconsin also were among the states with employment shares above the national average.

Employment location quotients, employment, and establishments for private electronic shopping and mail-order houses by state, third quarter 2019
State September 2019 Employment Location Quotient Employment in September 2019 Establishments in third quarter 2019

Washington

6.35 59,849 674

Utah

2.84 11,765 829

New Hampshire

1.83 3,306 205

Arizona

1.73 13,625 1,036

Wisconsin

1.63 12,757 471

Oregon

1.39 7,392 658

Massachusetts

1.38 13,610 590

Ohio

1.27 18,705 882

Nevada

1.20 4,583 580

Missouri

1.18 8,985 504

California

1.10 52,489 5,548

Pennsylvania

1.06 17,087 1,194

New Jersey

1.05 11,664 732

Indiana

1.04 8,675 492

Vermont

1.04 875 103

Minnesota

1.01 7,998 476

Maine

1.00 1,715 124

New York

0.97 24,983 2,484

Florida

0.96 22,962 3,262

Nebraska

0.92 2,448 185

Connecticut

0.80 3,634 297

Illinois

0.78 12,615 1,082

Virginia

0.70 7,464 474

Kentucky

0.68 3,507 240

Texas

0.65 22,079 2,094

Colorado

0.65 4,824 938

Idaho

0.63 1,293 347

Georgia

0.62 7,607 708

North Carolina

0.62 7,488 1,074

Tennessee

0.57 4,732 560

Kansas

0.47 1,757 185

North Dakota

0.46 536 26

Rhode Island

0.42 560 87

West Virginia

0.41 769 56

South Dakota

0.41 478 78

Delaware

0.40 491 122

Montana

0.38 498 146

Iowa

0.36 1,502 215

Michigan

0.34 4,046 728

District of Columbia

0.33 695 55

Wyoming

0.33 252 33

South Carolina

0.32 1,869 285

Alabama

0.30 1,588 265

Maryland

0.28 2,045 444

New Mexico

0.28 630 117

Arkansas

0.22 723 292

Hawaii

0.19 327 112

Louisiana

0.18 908 187

Oklahoma

0.14 625 160

Mississippi

0.10 306 95

Alaska

0.08 73 22

Location quotients are the ratio of an industry’s employment share in an area to its national share. For example, an industry with 6 percent of state employment and 2 percent of national employment would have a location quotient in that state of 6/2 = 3. A location quotient greater than 1 means the industry has a higher share of area employment than the national average.

These data are from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages. You can get more industry employment data for the nation, states, counties, and metropolitan areas with the data viewer tool.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Employment trends in electronic shopping on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2020/employment-trends-in-electronic-shopping.htm (visited August 15, 2020).

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