Digital platforms that match people to “gig work” are a rapidly growing phenomenon changing the very nature of labor markets worldwide. A 2021 study by the Oxford Internet Institute and the University of Turku estimated that there were at least 351 online gig platforms with 163 million freelancers registered on digital labor platforms globally. A survey conducted by Mastercard suggests worldwide gig economy activity was worth $204 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach $455 billion by 2023.
While some gig work jobs are in-person, a significant portion of them are performed online (think: editing or web services). These online jobs, and the platforms that enable them, are creating employment opportunities for people who otherwise would not find work in their local labor markets.
This is a phenomenon we want to study, especially why firms in developing countries hire gig workers and what impact the digital labor platforms are having in those markets. And we’re launching a Global Online Gig Jobs Survey to get more data.
If you’re in a business that has ever hired freelancers through a digital platform, we want to hear from you. Whether you’re a manager, small business owner or new entrepreneur, your responses will help us understand what role global and regional digital platforms play in business development and job creation around the world. It will help us understand where the demand for gig work comes from.
This is important to us because of the impact these platforms can have in creating opportunities in developing country labor markets. According to most studies, the demand for gig work originates in Western countries such as Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and the United States. But the existence of smaller regional gig work platforms, like GigIndia, PakistanWritersLab, AfriBlocks and others suggests that there is strong demand from businesses in developing countries for online gig workers.
Please share the survey with your networks!