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Micro in size, mighty in impact: U.S. Etsy sellers are huge drivers of economic activity

Nov 8, 2018

by Josh Silverman

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Etsy sellers are all around you, pursuing their passions and adding local flavor to our global marketplace. Yet, as home-based micro-businesses who typically lack a Main Street storefront, their impact is often overlooked and government statistics fail to capture them.

That’s why we commissioned our first-ever economic impact study to explore the ways Etsy sellers in the United States contribute to the national economic landscape. Here’s what we found:

  • U.S. sellers contribute $4.7 billion to the US economy
  • U.S. sellers create 1.24 million jobs in the independent worker economy, enough jobs to employ the entire city of San Jose, CA
  • U.S. sellers generate more than $1 billion in income
  • U.S. sellers produce more than $2 billion in additional economic value by harnessing their creativity and bringing unique products to market

These are big numbers, and even more impressive when you consider that the vast majority of Etsy sellers are micro-businesses—79% are businesses of one, and 97% run their shops from their homes.

Etsy sellers bolster local economies, especially in rural states, such as Utah and Idaho, where output and income per capita outstrips that of Etsy sellers coastal states and urban communities. Overall, U.S. Etsy sellers create $2.6B of indirect economic output, for example by purchasing materials, renting studio space, or even using an employment agency to find their first employee. Their demand helps other industries thrive—especially in retail, real estate, management, and wholesale trade. Over the period of the report, Etsy sellers generated over $850 million in wages and income for U.S. workers in other firms and industries.

This new study demonstrates that while individually they may be small, together Etsy sellers are a mighty force of economic empowerment and impact. We encourage you to explore our newly released Economic Impact Dashboard, and dig deeper into the way Etsy sellers are shaping local communities and the national economy.  

Header Image: ClareElsaesser