The gig economy has been on the rise in the United States in recent years. In 2020, it grew by 33%, expanding 8.5x faster than the US economy as a whole. According to Statistica, as of 2023, 73.3 million freelancers are estimated to work in the US, with 76.4 million expected in 2024. With more and more people joining the gig economy, it’s important to understand the trends and opportunities in your local area.
In Tampa, Florida, the gig economy is thriving. The Career Source Tampa Bay Local Workforce Development Board reports that the largest volume of independent workers in the area come from industries such as administrative and waste services, transportation and warehousing, other services except public administration, and professional and technical services. Popular subsectors for independent workers in Hillsborough County include transit and ground passenger transportation, which saw a YoY growth of 58.5% from 2013-2018, and construction of buildings, which saw a YoY growth of 13.5% during the same period.
According to Career Source Tampa Bay, other industry subsectors with high growth rates for independent workers include couriers and messengers, construction, and truck transportation. As more people turn to the gig economy as a career choice, it’s likely that these industries will continue to see growth in Tampa and the surrounding area. While these subsectors are seeing the most growth, it’s important to note that hospitality is still a driving force for the local economy – for both traditional and independent work.
One factor that’s driving the growth of the gig economy is technology. According to UpWork, almost 80% of freelancers say technology makes it easier to find work. Independent workers who switched to the platform economy by choice are the most satisfied group within the workforce, according to McKinsey.
This growth is not limited to Tampa alone. Nationwide, the gig economy is growing three times faster than the total US workforce. Over 50% of the US workforce is likely to participate in the gig economy by 2027, and 36% of 57.3 million workers in the US are already part of the gig economy, according to TeamStage.
The gig economy is also attracting the attention of large US companies. According to Intuit, 80% of these companies plan to increase their reliance on a flexible workforce and more non-traditional workers in the coming years. As more companies embrace the gig economy, it’s likely that we’ll see more job opportunities and a greater need for independent workers in Tampa and the surrounding areas.
So, if you’re interested in joining the gig economy in Tampa, what kind of job opportunities are available? Besides transportation and construction, hospitality-focused job opportunities are popular in the area. In-demand positions include event servers, banquet servers at the Tampa Convention Center, catering attendants at the Florida State Fairgrounds, and bartenders or barbacks at various hotels and performing arts centers.
It’s fair to say the gig economy is growing rapidly in Tampa, and is projected to grow even more in the coming years. With more people turning to freelance work and more companies embracing the gig economy, there’s never been a better time to explore your options for freelance or gig work in the Tampa area.
Are you interested in picking up hospitality shifts? Learn more on our website and check out the GravyWork app. Simply download the app and create your profile to be connected with Tampa hospitality businesses looking for on-demand staff!
1. Teamstage.io. (n.d.). Gig economy statistics [Webpage]. Retrieved from https://teamstage.io/gig-economy-statistics/
2. CareerSource Tampa Bay. (2020). Economy overview: Hillsborough County, FL [PDF]. Retrieved from https://careersourcetampabay.com/wp-content/uploads/Economy_Overview_Hillsborough_County_FL_8734-003.pdf
3. CareerSource Florida. (n.d.). Gig economy: The future of work [Webpage]. Retrieved from https://analytics.careersourceflorida.com/GigEconomy/
4. CareerSource Florida. (2019). Gig economy report [PDF]. Retrieved from https://careersourceflorida.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Gig-Economy-Report.pdf