NACo’s Counties Futures Lab recently released The Future of Work: The Rise of the Gig Economy, highlighting trends and recommended practices from a workshop held at NACo’s 2017 Annual Conference and Exposition in Franklin County, Ohio. The report features as moderator, Rich Fitzgerald, county executive, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, and presenters Trevor Brown, dean, John Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University; and Molly Turner, lecturer at the Hass School of Business at the University of California Berkeley.
The Future of Work: The Rise of the Gig Economy describes how today’s workforce is seeing a growth in the number of those who work as a part of the so-called “gig” economy, which consists of independent workers being paid for a gig by consumers needing a specific service. Turner details that while the gig economy is not new, its growth over the past decade is driven by new technologies that connect providers and consumers, as well as the difficulty of finding stable jobs.
Brown explains that his students have expressed interest in the gig economy because of the control and autonomy it allows over their career paths. Finally, Fitzgerald discusses how his county has seen a large increase in those working in the gig economy and ways in which the county government is moving to accommodate these workers.
The included stories and examples highlight just a few trends that are affecting county government. The report lists the key takeaways from the workshop: 1) recognize that the gig economy is there and is growing: 2) record and measure what is happening in counties with this economy in order to shape policy; and 3) adapt to changes that come with the growing sector.