Platform Cooperativism Resource Library


This report presents the findings from research conducted into the gig economy for the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The research had three key aims:

  •  To develop a working definition of the gig economy;
  •  To provide a robust estimate of the number of individuals who have found work via the gig economy;
  •  To provide detailed information on the characteristics of those who work in the gig economy.

There is no single, agreed definition of the gig economy. Based on inclusion and exclusion criteria, a working definition of the gig economy was created in consultation with BEIS and the Institute for Employment Studies. For this research, the working definition is: “The gig economy involves the exchange of labour for money between individuals or companies via digital platforms that actively facilitate matching between providers and customers, on a short-term and payment by task basis.” A quantitative research design was used to estimate the scale of the gig economy and the characteristics of those working in the gig economy. NatCen used two survey vehicles: the NatCen Panel and YouGov Omnibus survey.

Added May 7, 2020