Almost 56,000 people regularly working via online platforms in Estonia

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Laptop computer (photo isillustrative). Source: Thought Catalog/Unsplash

Close to 56,000 people work through digital platforms in Estonia every week and over 160,000 people have engaged in platform work at least once over the past year, it appears from the results of a study by the Estonian parliament's Foresight Center to be published on Wednesday.

"Work brokered by digital platforms is widely used in Estonia, but it is mainly done as additional work," expert of the Foresight Center Johanna Vallistu said. "The number of people who occasionally take on platform work has increased over the past three years and close to 100,000 people now do so at least once a month."

Seven percent of the working age population work through digital platforms regularly every week. A large share of platform work consists of delivery services, ride sharing and performing various tasks in other people's home, such as construction, maintenance and gardening works and childcare.

"Web-based jobs have undergone the biggest growth in the past three years," Vallistu said.

Platform workers earn less than average salary

The study also showed that the income of people working via online platforms is lower than the Estonian average. "The average monthly net income of platform workers across all sources of income is €1,017, which is lower than the average net salary in Estonia for the same period- €1,255," Vallistu said in a press release.

According to Vallistu, most platform workers are engaged in delivery services, ride sharing and various jobs in other people's homes. "Thus, platform work done in Estonia is currently relatively local in nature, although large job mediation platforms offer employees relatively easy access to the global labor market as well," she added.

Close to 56,000 people, or 7 percent of the working-age population, work through digital platforms in Estonia every week and over 160,000 people have engaged in platform work at least once over the past year, earning 18.4 percent of their income from platform work on average.

Compared to a survey conducted in 2018, the number of people occasionally working via online platforms has increased, with almost 100,000 people doing so at least once a month.

Platform work is an employment form in which organizations or individuals use an online platform to access other organizations or individuals to solve specific problems or to provide specific services in exchange for payment. Platform work may be delivered either online or on-location and includes both jobs requiring specialized skills as well as those requiring unskilled labor. Most frequently provided and sought types of platform work are ride sharing, delivery services, IT and graphic design. The study by the Foresight Center focused on eight most common forms of platform work.

Results of the Foresight Center's study into trends in online platform work in Estonia over the past three years will be published on Wednesday.

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Editor: Helen Wright, Kristjan Kallaste

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