Online Labour Index 2020: New ways to measure the world’s remote freelancing market

Stephany, F., Kässi, O., Rani, U., & Lehdonvirta, V. (2021). Online Labour Index 2020: New ways to measure the world’s remote freelancing market. Big Data & Society. https://doi.org/10.1177/20539517211043240

10 Pages Posted: 24 May 2021 Last revised: 21 Sep 2021

See all articles by Fabian Stephany

Fabian Stephany

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute; Bruegel; Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society

Otto Kässi

Etla

Uma Rani

International Labour Organization (ILO)

Vili Lehdonvirta

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute

Date Written: May 19, 2021

Abstract

The Online Labour Index (OLI) was launched in 2016 to measure the global utilisation of online freelance work at scale. Five years after its creation, the OLI has become a point of reference for scholars and policy experts investigating the online gig economy. As the market for online freelancing work matures, a high volume of data and new analytical tools allow us to revisit half a decade of online freelance monitoring and extend the index’s scope to more dimensions of the global online freelancing market. In addition to measuring the utilisation of online labour across countries and occupations by tracking the number of projects and tasks posted on major English-language platforms, the new Online Labour Index 2020 (OLI 2020) also tracks Spanish- and Russian-language platforms, reveals changes over time in the geography of labour supply, and estimates female participation in the online gig economy. The rising popularity of software and tech work and the concentration of freelancers on the Indian subcontinent are examples of the insights that the OLI 2020 provides. The OLI 2020 delivers a more detailed picture of the world of online freelancing via an interactive online visualisation updated daily. It provides easy access to downloadable open data for policymakers, labour market researchers, and the general public (www.onlinelabourobservatory.org).

Keywords: Online Labour Markets, Gig Work, Platform Economy, Online Data Collection

JEL Classification: J01, J08, J20, J21

Suggested Citation

Stephany, Fabian and Kässi, Otto and Rani, Uma and Lehdonvirta, Vili, Online Labour Index 2020: New ways to measure the world’s remote freelancing market (May 19, 2021). Stephany, F., Kässi, O., Rani, U., & Lehdonvirta, V. (2021). Online Labour Index 2020: New ways to measure the world’s remote freelancing market. Big Data & Society. https://doi.org/10.1177/20539517211043240 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3849445 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3849445

Fabian Stephany (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute ( email )

1 St. Giles
University of Oxford
Oxford OX1 3PG Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire OX1 3JS
United Kingdom

Bruegel ( email )

Rue de la Charité 33
B-1210 Brussels Belgium, 1210
Belgium

Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society ( email )

Bebelplatz 1 | 10099
Berlin
Germany

Otto Kässi

Etla ( email )

Lonnrotink. 4 B
FIN-00120 Helsinki, 00120
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.etla.fi

Uma Rani

International Labour Organization (ILO) ( email )

Route des Morillons 4
Geneva
Switzerland

Vili Lehdonvirta

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute ( email )

1 St. Giles
University of Oxford
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3JS
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.oii.ox.ac.uk

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