Data: 20M Employees Own Company Stock

March 5, 2007 ( - According to the results of a national survey, out of 114 million people in the U.S. who work in the private sector, 17.5% or 20 million employees own company stock.

A news release from the Employee Ownership Foundation said 9.3% hold stock options, approximately 10 million employees. The data is from the General Social Survey (GSS), administered to a national sample of working adults and is funded primarily by the National Science Foundation and conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago.

The data reflect a slight drop from the 2002 results which showed that 21.2% of employees owned company stock and 13.1% held stock options, according to the announcement

According to the announcement, the number of employees who reported profit sharing, gainsharing, owning company stock or holding stock options was 46.7%, which is an increase over the 2002 GSS finding of 43.1%. 

“This data proves that millions of Americans are owners in the companies where they work,” said J. Michael Keeling, President of the Employee Ownership Foundation, in the news release. 

The Employee Ownership Foundation provided significant funding for the series of questions on employee ownership of their companies.

The Employee Ownership Foundation ( ) is The ESOP Association’s affiliated 501 (c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting employee ownership.  Founded in 1978, The ESOP Association ( ) is the national trade association for companies with employee stock ownership plans.