BALTIMORE (Aug. 24, 2018) – The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation is proud to announce Maryland’s membership to the National Governors Association State Collaborative Consortium to Understand and Support the On-Demand Workforce. As part of this peer-learning consortium, Maryland will lead national efforts to understand and analyze the on-demand economy and identify and implement policies that support opportunities for on-demand workers and businesses.
“As vice-chairman of the National Governors Association, I am thrilled that Maryland is leading the way on yet another emerging national policy issue,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Joining this prestigious consortium will help Maryland better serve an integral workforce population in our state, and advance workforce development policies that will benefit all Marylanders.”
Only seven states were chosen for the consortium by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices.
“Emerging worker arrangements presented by the on-demand economy are important to our businesses, jobseekers, and consumers,” said Labor Secretary Kelly M. Schulz. “The consortium will provide Maryland with the structure and platform we need to fully support this growing and evolving segment of our economy.”
Known as the “gig economy,” examples of the on-demand workforce include ridesharing, freelance graphic designers, and construction workers performing contract work. These workers make up a notable portion of the labor force, but differ from traditional workers in that they often forego customary worker benefits such as health insurance, paid time off, and retirement benefits. Through the consortium, Maryland will explore the challenges and opportunities this population faces, and the demographics and long-term trends of the labor pool.
“By some estimates, nearly a third of the labor force is already engaging in alternative work arrangements, such as work opportunities made available through the gig economy,” said Secretary Schulz. “Joining this innovative multi-state consortium represents a significant opportunity for Maryland to gain knowledge of the on-demand economy and make real progress in adapting policies to address this growing sector of our economy.”
Over the next two years, member states will engage with one another in a structured, peer-learning consortium in which they will enhance the state’s understanding of the on-demand workforce and support state policymakers to take action based on what is learned. Learning consortium states will benefit from a variety of resources and tools to help states identify strategies to understand and address emerging issues related to this segment of the economy.
Other consortium members include Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.