August 22, 2019

Florida's Job Market

Florida job outlook: 2019

Amy Martinez | 7/26/2019

New Incentives, Higher Pay

With more job openings than job seekers, some employers are getting creative to entice workers into the labor market. Suffolk Construction, which has four offices in Florida, is helping employees pay off their student loans, contributing $100 a month toward debt relief for each employee. This fall, Disney will begin covering the costs of a UCF degree, and Tesla will pay students at Miami Dade College to learn to become electriccar technicians.

The tight labor market also is causing employers like banks and retailers to raise wages for their lowest-paid workers. JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo now pay their hourly employees a $15 minimum wage. Bank of America recently raised its minimum wage to $17 an hour and will continue to increase pay until it hits $20 an hour in 2021. Amazon and Costco have increased their minimum pay to $15 an hour, and Target plans to start paying entry-level workers no less than $15 an hour by the end of 2020.

Last year, after negotiations with unions, Disney announced it will raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour by fall 2021.

The Gig Economy

Traditional jobs are still very much dominant and still preferred by most workers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the percentage of U.S. workers who do gig work as their main job declined from 11% in 2005 to 10% in 2017 — a surprise given the rise of on-demand apps such as Uber and Lyft. But that doesn’t include those who do gig work as a second job or only occasionally to supplement their wages. Contrary to the stereotypical association of independent-contractor jobs with the Millennial generation, a Labor Department report found older workers increasingly occupy the “gig” jobs.

Mason Jackson, president and CEO of CareerSource Broward, says gig work is a definite factor in South Florida’s economy. “As people get older and want sources of income, even in retirement, I think you’re going to see growth in the gig economy,” he says. “There are an awful lot of people who have retired but need to continue working to supplement their income.”

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