Labour Market

Platform workers earn less than the Estonian average

The incomes of the people who work through digital platforms are lower than the Estonian average, shows the Foresight Centre study “Platform Work in Estonia in 2021”, which was published on Wednesday, 2 June.

“The average monthly net income of platform workers that includes all sources of income is 1017 euro, which is lower than the Estonian average net income for the same period, 1255 euro,” Expert of the Foresight Centre Johanna Vallistu said.

Johanna Vallistu said that most of the platform workers were active in delivery services, ride sharing and doing various work at the homes of other people (like construction, repair, gardening, child care). “Thus the platform work done in Estonia is rather local at present, although large labour mediation platforms offer workers comparatively easy access also to global labour market,” Vallistu added.

  • Nearly 56,000 people, or 7% of working age population, work through digital platforms every week in Estonia. During the last year, more than 160,000 people have done platform work at least once, and on the average, they earn nearly a fifth (18.4%) of their income from platform work. 
  • In comparison with the study conducted in 2018, the number of those who do platform work from time to time has increased. Nearly 100,000 people do it at least once a month.

Platform work means doing gigs found through digital labour mediation platform for different customers. Platform work may be both location-based and web-based, and require little skill or specialised skills. The best-known types of platform work are ride sharing, delivery services as well as IT work and graphic design on web platforms. The study conducted by the Foresight Centre deals with eight most widely spread types of platform work.

In March 2021, the consultancy company SaarPoll conducted a study with a representative statistical sample on using platform work as a way of working in Estonia. The study was commissioned by the Foresight Centre within the framework of the study project “Future of Work”. See also the results of the 2018 study. 

On Wednesday, 2 June, the Foresight Centre of the Riigikogu published the study “Platform Work in Estonia in 2021”, which gives an overview of the trends in the work done through digital labour mediating platforms by the people of Estonia through the last three years. The study was introduced by Head of the Foresight Centre Tea Danilov and Expert of the Centre Johanna Vallistu, and commented by CEO of the Estonian Employers’ Confederation Arto Aas and Deputy Secretary General on Labour and Employment Policy, Ministry of Social Affairs Sten Andreas Ehrlich.

The Foresight Centre is a think tank at the Chancellery of the Riigikogu that analyses long-term developments in society and the economy. The Centre conducts research projects to analyse the long-term developments in Estonian society, and to identify new trends and development directions.

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