Florida ranked inside the top five for app economy gigs — like driving for Uber or acting as a service worker for user-based platforms — in a report published on Wednesday by the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI), whose mission is to “create radically pragmatic ideas for moving America beyond ideological and partisan deadlock.”
The report states that the United States is home to over 2.5 million app economy jobs nationwide, with Florida home to 129,000 of them. Florida’s bustling metropolitan areas cater to the benefit of using ride-sharing companies like Lyft or food delivery services such as GrubHub.
Miami, which has garnered a reputation as a burgeoning technology hub, has benefitted greatly from the emergence of app economies. Caribu, a family video-calling app, was highlighted by Apple for the new jobs the company created while stimulating the local economy.
“That growth has been experienced by companies large and small, including the team at Caribu in Miami, Florida,” said the tech giant. “Caribu is an app that enables immersive, activity-rich video calls, allowing families and friends to stay close even from afar. Participants can draw together, read bedtime stories, solve puzzles, cook, and even visit museums in real-time — connections that have become even more important in recent months. Caribu co-founders Maxeme Tuchman and Alvaro Sabido saw their business take off this spring, as people sought new ways to keep in touch. To respond to the tenfold increase in customers across the globe, Caribu’s team tripled in size.
In a ‘chicken or the egg’ scenario, Florida also added more tech companies than any other state in 2021, increasing the presence of app-based services across the state.
Driven by rising prices and unfavorable tax regulations, tech companies flocked to The Sunshine State, landing in cities like Miami, Orlando, and Jacksonville. According to a study by IT trade associate CompTIA, Florida added 2,715 tech businesses last year, placing ahead of known tech hubs like California and North Carolina.
“On a numeric basis, Florida had the largest year-over-year increase of net-new tech business establishments (+2,715),” the report states. “Rounding out the top five for net-new tech business establishments were Texas, California, Colorado, and Massachusetts. On a percent change basis, Vermont experienced the largest increase at 11.6 percent, followed by Idaho, Nebraska, Montana, and Tennessee.”
Florida also placed second in the top states by net tech employment increase, with 10, 522 new jobs created, just second behind Texas at 10,851. The influx of tech companies and workers has occurred alongside a population boom in both Florida and Texas.
Florida’s tech boom has also led to companies based outside of The Sunshine State seeking employees in and around Florida’s largest urban centers.
“Stride Health, a small business benefits company based in San Francisco and focused on independent workers, was seeking a Senior iOS Application Engineer in Florida for remote work. Vyvo, a digital health company founded in 2019, was seeking an Android and an iOS developer in Miami, Florida,” PPI’s report notes, also adding that “entertainment, sports, and gambling are increasingly replying on App Economy workers. Disney Cruise Lines, based in Orlando, Florida, was looking for a Senior iOS software engineer.”
Various sectors’ increased reliance on app economy workers could prove to work well for Floridians given the state’s adoption of fiber optic internet in cities like Jacksonville and Tallahassee, as well as the state’s widespread internet connectivity coverage in even rural areas.