CareerSource Florida is releasing The Study on The Gig Economy and Florida’s Workforce System, the result of a six-month, research-driven exploration that is among the first of its kind in the nation.
The study, commissioned by the state workforce development board, presents findings about the characteristics of independent workers and the expanding nature of gig work, which includes a variety of non-traditional work arrangements often enabled through online platforms. Drawing on national and Florida-specific data, the study identifies challenges and opportunities associated with the growing trend for both workers and industry. The report reinforces the importance of adapting education and training programs to meet Florida’s changing workforce needs.
“The emerging gig economy is constantly evolving and transforming how Floridians can make a living,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “The findings of this study can help inform statewide policy and maximize prosperity for Florida’s workers and businesses.”
Historically, gig work has been more prevalent across creative and professional service industries and in occupations well-suited to task or project-based work. Now, the gig economy is expanding to include a wider variety of professional, technical, business and consumer services and includes a greater diversity of skill levels.
“With its business-friendly climate and quality of life, Florida already is a draw for entrepreneurs. Encouraging gig and non-traditional work arrangements could further strengthen our state’s position in the national and global economy,” said CareerSource Florida President and CEO Michelle Dennard. “On the individual level, gig work is shown to provide unemployed or underemployed workers with opportunities to gain work experience and build transferable skills – an important priority of our state board.”
CareerSource Florida has established a multidisciplinary workgroup of business, industry and community leaders from across the state to help determine how Florida’s workforce system can meet the demands of businesses and workers in the gig economy.
“Florida’s workforce system is diving even deeper into this data to explore innovative ways to respond and support both businesses and working Floridians as business models evolve,” said workgroup leader Stephanie Smith, Senior Manager of Public Policy at Uber and a member of CareerSource Florida’s Board of Directors.
The study shows workers enter the gig economy for numerous reasons. Both full-time and part-time gig workers cite flexibility, freedom, independence, lifestyle, opportunity and earnings potential. The range of talent and skills available to businesses allows them to use gig workers to fill a variety of workforce needs, from seasonal work in hospitality or retail to immediate access to specialty skills, language or niche needs. Gig workers can provide valuable support for the launch of a new product, entering new markets, or even integrating new software.
“CareerSource Florida is a pioneer in undertaking this kind of research,” said Evan Enarson-Hering of Cambridge Systematics, which conducted the study. “Our research revealed areas of opportunity that will help CareerSource Florida and its collaborative partners lead the national conversation on the growing gig economy.”
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