Mobile Commerce

Census Bureau: Online and Mail Order Shopping On A Steep Upswing

While the rest of the retail sector’s growth is sluggish, electronic shopping continues to pick up steam, according to new U.S. Census Bureau statistics. Going by the County Business Patterns: 2012, the number of electronic and mail-order shoping establishments grew by around 27 percent during 2012, from just under 24 thousand in 2011 to just over 30,000. Employment in the sector also ticked up, nearly 14 percent year-over-year.

“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.

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 gains in electronic and mail-order based shopping were strongly regionally tethered in the U.S., according to the Census Bureau. 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 smaller metro areas such as Memphis, Tenn. (Shelby County), Las Vegas (Clark County).

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