Digital Platform Work in Australia: Preliminary Findings From a National Survey
Digital platforms such as Uber, Airtasker or Freelancer offer apps or websites that can connect potential workers with individuals or businesses looking to obtain services of various kinds on demand. Their use has generated intense debate about the potential impact of what is often now called the ‘gig economy’. Yet there has been little data on the extent and impact of digital platform work in Australia. In late 2018, the Victorian Government engaged a team of university researchers to conduct a national survey that would address that gap.
The objectives of the research were to explore the prevalence and characteristics of digital platform work in Australia, gain insight into the characteristics and experiences of those participating in digital platform work, and understand the extent to which they combine digital platform work with other forms of paid work. This summary presents the preliminary findings from the survey data. A more detailed report with further analysis and a discussion of the Australian experience, in the context of existing international research on the gig economy, is currently in production.