Finding out more about the ‘gig’ economy

Nov 21, 2019

Motu today released research exploring how to go about measuring gig work. "Gig" once meant a live performance by a musician or group. It now refers to any work that is temporary or that has an uncertain future.


There’s currently no definition of gig work, but it is often assumed to include people who drive for Uber, sell things on TradeMe and rent out bedrooms on AirB&B, alongside other temporary workers.  


The prominence of digital platforms and the apparent ease with which they allow gigs – short-term arrangements between those wanting to purchase labour and those wanting to sell it – has ignited concerns of a future in which gig work is more prevalent or even substantially replaces more traditional employment.


Traditional employment measures, however, do not necessarily capture gig work well and relatively little is known about its extent, its recent growth, potential future growth, or the likely policy implications.


This research, undertaken for the Productivity Commission of New Zealand as an input to its Employment, labour markets and income draft report, provides a New Zealand-focused review of these issues.


You can read the working paper: Measuring the “gig” economy: Challenges and options by Lynn Riggs, Isabelle Sin and Dean Hyslop at the Motu website.


Summary haiku

Is gig work growing?
What do we know about it?
More data will help.