The Online Labour Index

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

Using the Online Labour Index

The visualization above lets you explore the OLI. 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 projects in May 2016. For instance, you can see that by September 2016, the utilization of online labour had increased by around nine index points (ie. 9%) from May. Read more about the insights that can be derived from the OLI here and here. View the visualization in a separate window here.

How the Online Labour Index is constructed

The OLI is constructed by tracking all the projects/tasks posted on the five largest English-language online labour platforms, representing at least 60% of the market by traffic. The projects are then classified by occupation and employer country. The results are published as an automatically updated open data set here. Read more about the methodology here.

Citing the Online Labour Index

The Online Labour Index is produced by Otto Kässi and Vili Lehdonvirta as part of the iLabour project at the Oxford Internet Institute. The visualization is developed in collaboration with Martin Hadley from the University of Oxford Interactive Data Network. 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:

Kässi, O. & Lehdonvirta, V. (2016) Online Labour Index: Measuring the Online Gig Economy for Policy and Research. Paper presented at Internet, Politics & Policy 2016, 22-23 September, Oxford, UK.

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