Some 1.8 million workers in Florida, according to 2018 jobs data, participated in the gig economy in some capacity.
The gig isn’t up.
The gig economy, that is.
Multiple national surveys reveal that the while defining exactly what a gig employee is or isn’t varies, by most counts it’s on the rise. And in the Sunshine State, according to a new report from CareerSource Florida, there’s even greater opportunity for the gig economy to prosper. A gig economy worker, broadly defined, is a consultant, freelancer, contractor, temporary or on-call worker, from an Uber driver to a private piano teacher to an on-demand masseuse.
“Florida’s industry structure and significant portion of economic activity tied to professional, business, consumer and hospitality services lends itself to … expanded nontraditional work arrangements,” states the report, the Study on the Gig Economy and Florida’s Workforce System, co-written by consulting firm Cambridge Systematics. “The industry sectors that are overrepresented in Florida compared to the nation are also those that may have a higher share [of] independent workers. As a result, Florida’s industry structure suggests the gig economy might have a greater role and impact in the state.”
The CareerSource Florida report cites one survey, the MBO Partners State of Independence in America report, that says 26% of the U.S. workforce — nearly 42 million Americans — pursued independent work in 2018.
Another survey, the annual Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households, produced by the Federal Reserve Board in 2017, found 31% of all adults engage in gig work. That’s up slightly from 28% in 2016. The report covered gig work as three different types of nontraditional activities: offline service activities, such as child care or house-cleaning; offline sales, such as selling items at flea markets; and online services or sales, such as driving using a ride-sharing app or selling items online.
Finally, according to Freelancing in America 2018, a survey of 6,000 U.S. workers commissioned in partnership by Upwork and Freelancers Union, 35% of all adults did some freelance work in 2018. The study reports the freelance workforce, courtesy of younger generations, has grown significantly, from 3.7 million people in 2014 to 56.7 million today.