Newsletter October 2019

Do you know the jobs of the gig economy?

Web jobs versus gig jobs

Do you know the jobs of the gig economy?


‘Gig’ works are undoubtedly a phenomenon placed at the center of the discussion about the future of work. A recent McKinsey report shows that an estimated 20% to 30% of working-age workers in the United States and Europe are self-employed or independent workers.


The emergence of digital platforms created a labor intermediation market that is far more efficient and much larger than the traditional ones and McKinsey estimates that up to date at least 15% of the independent workforce has used some digital platform on-demand to generate income, but that this percentage is increasing substantially every year.

A significant element of the digital labour markets is that the mechanisms, such as trust-building, traceability, and quality verification are very different from the personal circles of trust where autonomous or independent employees traditionally moved about, which allows hiring services to professionals who we do not know, but who are verified and monitored by a digital algorithm.


Web jobs versus gig jobs


An example of web jobs is the digital market of self-employed specialists, such as graphic designers or professional consultants (Upwork or Amazon Mechanical Turk), while an example of a gig job is to be found in transport or accommodation services (Uber or Airbnb).

McKinsey, in the study already quoted, comes up with four categories of gig workers depending on whether the work is full-time or not and whether it is done by choice or by necessity. These four types are: occasional recipients (40%), who use independent work for supplementary income and do so by choice; free agents (30%), who actively choose independent work and it’s their primary source of income; individuals with financial problems (16%), who need to complement their work with additional source of income; and reluctant people (14%), whose source of income is independent work, although they would prefer a traditional job.


It’s extremely important to come to a consensus on the fact that, beyond critical judgments that can be made about gig jobs and the impact of digital labour markets on traditional labour markets, the essential thing is to build a constructive and open dialogue between the different actors: public, private / entrepreneurial and civil society organizations to allow the development of a proactive multisectoral framework, which would balance the different interests of the parties while contributing to promote innovation and digital competitiveness in the region seeking inclusive and sustainable development.

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Worker participation in GIG economyWorker participation in GIG economy

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