The Online Labour Index 2020

The Online Labour Index 2020 (OLI 2020) is an economic indicator that provides an online gig economy equivalent of conventional labour market statistics. It measures the supply and demand of online freelance labour across countries and occupations by tracking the number of projects and tasks across platforms in real time.

Online Labour Demand

The visualization above lets you explore the OLI 2020. It shows how the utilization of online labour varies over time and across countries and occupations. The index is normalized so that 100 index points on the y-axis represents the daily average number of new projects in June 2016. With the navigation panel on the right-hand side you can customise your visualisation on demand across platform languages, occupations, or countries to then download your selected data by clicking on the “Download Data” button.

How the Online Labour Index 2020 is constructed

The OLI 2020 is an extension of the Online Labour Index initiated by the iLabour project tracking all the projects/tasks posted on the five largest English-language online labour platforms, representing at least 70% of the market by traffic. In addition, since 2020, the OLI 2020 covers six non-English language platforms; three in Spanish and three in Russian. The results of the OLI 2020 are published as an automatically updated open data set here. Read more about the insights that can be derived from the OLI 2020 in this blog post and about the OLI 2020 methodology here. You can view the OLI 2020 visualisation in a separate window here.

How to cite the Online Labour Index 2020

The Online Labour Index 2020 is produced by Fabian Stephany, Otto Kässi, and Vili Lehdonvirta as part of the Online Labour Observatory – a collaboration between the International Labour Organisation and the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford. The original OLI was produced as part of the iLabour project at the Oxford Internet Institute. The data set and visualization are made available on a CC-BY license. You are free to use them in other publications as long as you credit the authors. Please link back to this page or include the following citation:

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

More details on the construction of the initial Online Labour Index can be found in the following publication: Otto Kässi, Vili Lehdonvirta, Online labour index: Measuring the online gig economy for policy and researchTechnological Forecasting and Social Change, Volume 137, 2018, Pages 241-248. [open access version]