Apr 3, 2024 - Business

How gig workers contribute to California's economy

App-based workers' share of labor force, 2022
Data: Flex Association; Map: Axios Visuals

Despite the biggest players in the gig economy originating in Silicon Valley, California does not have the highest share of its workforce participating in app-based work — that distinction goes to Washington, D.C.

Why it matters: App-based work offers a flexible way to earn a living or just make an extra buck — but many such workers are fighting for better pay, benefits and more, according to a new study.

Driving the news: In California, 4.5% of the overall workforce engages in app-based work, compared to about 4.3% of the overall U.S. workforce partaking in app-based work.

  • In D.C., 9% of the workforce engages in app-based work while just 0.5% of the Tennessee workforce participates in gig work.
  • That's per an Axios analysis of a new study from consultancy Public First and commissioned by Flex, a trade group representing DoorDash, Uber, Lyft and more.

By the numbers: In 2022, there were an estimated 870,000 app-based workers in California, contributing $38 billion to the state economy, according to the analysis.

  • Nationwide, there were 7.3 million app-based workers, per the study.
  • By raw numbers, California has the largest app-based workforce in the country.

How it works: The Flex study is based on aggregated data collected in 2022 from several such platforms, plus "new consumer and app-based worker survey data."

  • Axios compared the study's estimated numbers of app-based workers by state with the size of each state's overall civilian labor force.
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