What have we learned from the market for Online Labour? [3/3] Homogeneous demand across countries

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 final 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 enclosed figure plots the occupation distribution within the countries.


A striking feature of the geography of online labour utilization is that the occupational demand profiles of the leading employer countries are rather similar. Employers from all the leading buyer countries post most vacancies in the software development and technology category, followed by creative and multimedia, and so on. This is surprising, because the sectoral and industry structures of these countries are very different, as are the occupational profiles of their conventional domestic labour markets. The fact that they nevertheless resemble each other rather much in online labour demand profiles suggests that the demand largely comes from the same industry within each country: information technology, broadly defined. If industries and sectors start making use of online labour in greater quantities, the OLI should begin to show employer countries’ occupational demand profiles diverging.

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)