Crowdworker Economics in the Gig Economy
The nature of work is changing. As labor increasingly trends to casual work in the emerging gig economy, understanding the broader economic context is crucial to effective engage- ment with a contingent workforce. Crowdsourcing represents an early manifestation of this fluid, laisser-faire, on-demand workforce. This work analyzes the results of four large-scale surveys of US-based Amazon Mechanical Turk workers recorded over a six-year period, providing compa- rable measures to national statistics. Our results show that despite unemployment far higher than national levels, crowd- workers are seeing positive shifts in employment status and household income. Our most recent surveys indicate a trend away from full-time-equivalent crowdwork, coupled with a reduction in estimated poverty levels to below national figures. These trends are indicative of an increasingly flexible workforce, able to maximize their opportunities in a rapidly changing national labor market, which may have material impacts on existing models of crowdworker behavior.
EPSRC (via University of St Andrews) (11780)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/R004471/1)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/N010558/1)