What have we learned from the market for Online Labour? [2/3] Volatility of labour demand across occupations

This September marks the two-year anniversary of the launch of the Online Labour Index, the experimental economic indicator on the utilisation of online labour. This is the second in the series of blog posts describing what we have learned from the data.

The paper accompanying the Online Labour Index was just accepted for publication in Technological Forecasting and Social Change.

The attached figure plots the time series of different types of work demanded in online labour markets. The dynamics of different types of demand are surprisingly different from one another.

In particular, the demand for writing jobs and professional services jobs have been fairly stable over the past two years with a variance of only a few percent month to month. On the other hand, software development, clerical and admin and graphic design jobs show much more variability.

The biggest occupations, graphic design and software development, show a high positive correlation with the overall index, whereas clerical job are actually slightly countercyclical; when the other types of vacancies have gone down, the number of clerical jobs has gone up.

For more details, see the full paper (recently accepted for publication in Technological Forecasting and Social Change):

Kässi, O., and Lehdonvirta, V. (2018). Online Labour Index: Measuring the Online Gig Economy for Policy and Research. Technological Forecasting and Social Change (forthcoming)