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 Supply
In addition to online labour demand, we track where in the world online gig work gets done, by observing workers active on major online labour platforms. The visualizations above allow you to explore how the supply of different types of work is spread across the globe. In addition, our worker supplement allows us to explore where the global online freelancer population is located.
One of the most exciting new features of this OLI 2020 worker supplement is that the index now provides data on the gender breakdown of online labour supply under the tab “Female Workers”. The gender breakdown estimates are based on guessing worker genders from their given names, drawn from a small subset of the platforms tracked. It provides a view into a dimension of the market that until now has rarely been examined. Read more about the insights on female freelancing derived from the OLI 2020 worker data in this blog post and about the OLI 2020 methodology here. You can view the worker visualisation in a separate window here.
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. https://doi.org/10.1177/20539517211043240
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 research, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Volume 137, 2018, Pages 241-248. [open access version]