Census Bureau: Online Shopping, Mail Order Businesses Up 27%

Chris CrumeCommerce & RetailLeave a Comment

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The U.S. Census Bureau released some new stats on Thursday, including that online shopping establishments were up 27.4% between 2011 and 2012. It says the number of electronic shopping and mail-order houses establishments grew from 23,697 to 30,185 in that time period.

Employment climbed 13.7 percent to 365,508, the bureau said, but the retail trade sector as a whole (including brick and mortars) only rose 0.1 percent, with employment climbing 0.7 percent.

"Unlike traditional stores, which are located throughout the country, online shopping establishments and jobs are in concentrated areas," said William Bostic Jr., the Census Bureau's associate director for economic programs.

The bureau offers a "Census Explorer: Retail Edition" interactive map that lets you browse neighborhood statistics and geographic concentration of electronic shopping and mail-order houses.

"Reversing a four-year decline, the data show that the total number of U.S. businesses with paid employees grew by more than 77,000 establishments to 7.4 million in 2012, an increase of 1.1 percent from 2011," the bureau said.

Counties in Southern California, the New York metro area, the Chicago metro area, and other metro areas including Memphis, Las Vegas, Grand Rapids, Columbus (OH), and Minneapolis saw the biggest employment increases in electronic shopping and mail-order houses.

The bureau also cites these geographic highlights:

  • Among the top 50 counties in the United States by number of establishments, Travis, Texas (Austin) had the largest percent increase in establishments with a gain of 4.2 percent, or 1,206 establishments. Hennepin County, Minn. (Minneapolis) had the largest employment rate increase (6.6 percent), or 52,844 workers.
  • For the second consecutive year, North Dakota led all states in employment growth, at 8.2 percent, and led in percent increase in establishments, at 5.3 percent. This parallels the Census Bureau's population estimates, which showed the state led the nation in total population growth over the same period. In North Dakota, employment growth was driven by the mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction sector, as the number of employees rose 34.4 percent and establishments, 23.8 percent. This sector led employment growth nationally as well, with an 11.7 percent increase between 2011 and 2012.
  • Combined, California, Texas and Florida accounted for more than half of the establishments added between 2011 and 2012. In contrast, these three states accounted for one-quarter of all establishments in 2012.
  • The number of paid employees in the U.S. rose by 2.2 percent between 2011 and 2012; this represented an increase of more than 2.5 million employees. Texas, California, Florida, New York and Ohio led all states in number of employees added.
  • The number of paid employees in Puerto Rico rose to 690,597 in 2012, an increase of 2.5 percent over the previous year. Annual payroll totaled $16.9 billion in 2012, an increase of 2.4 percent.

You can take a look at the bureau's methodology here if you like.

Image via Census.gov

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.

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