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Contact: Robert Bernstein
Public Information Office
Electronic shopping is showing rapid growth compared to the rest of the retail trade sector, with the number of establishments growing 27.4 percent between 2011 and 2012, according to new U.S. Census Bureau statistics released today. Drawn from County Business Patterns: 2012, the new data provides the only detailed annual information on the number of establishments, employees and payroll for nearly 1,200 industries at the national, state and county levels.
The number of electronic shopping and mail-order houses establishments grew from 23,697 to 30,185 between 2011 and 2012. Employment climbed 13.7 percent to 365,508. In contrast, for the retail trade sector as a whole, which includes traditional "brick and mortar" stores, the number of establishments rose just 0.1 percent, while employment climbed 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.
Census Explorer: Retail Edition, the latest version of the Census Bureau's interactive map, gives users easier access to neighborhood statistics and shows the 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 greatest employment increases in electronic shopping and mail-order houses were concentrated in counties within Southern California, the New York metro area, Chicago metro area, and other metro areas such as Memphis, Tenn. (Shelby County), Las Vegas (Clark County), Grand Rapids, Mich. (Kent County), Columbus, Ohio (Franklin County) and Minneapolis (Hennepin County). In addition, two counties in North Carolina (Guilford and Wake, home of Greensboro and Raleigh, respectively) and one in Missouri (Clay, near Kansas City) also had large gains in employment for this industry.
County Business Patterns excludes business owners who were self-employed, employees of private households, railroad employees, agriculture production workers and most government employees. County Business Patterns statistics by five-digit ZIP codes will be released in June.
Next week, the Census Bureau will begin, on a flow basis, to release results from its 2012 Economic Census Industry Series, which provides a richer, broader picture of specific industries than County Business Patterns, including information on product lines, revenues and inventories.