GigmeterTM is the first index that describes the digital geography of Serbia and countries in the region* in terms of gender, earnings and professions most commonly employed by digital workers. It is the product of efforts made by the Public Policy Research Centre (CENTAR) to shed light on the issue of platform work.
Web scraping and data mining have become the most promising approaches to studying and measuring the digital platform economy, as deployed by the Oxford Internet Institute to develop its Online Labour Index. These techniques are more efficient and practical than expensive and time-consuming research based on labour force surveys, in particular due to the vast quantity of data available on online platforms.
The GigmeterTM is designed to monitor the activities and present the various characteristics of gig workers from Serbia and the surrounding countries according to the established criteria that are publicly available on the Upwork platform. We chose this platform because it is the largest global platform in terms of gross service volume, with around seven million registered clients and 12 million registered freelancers. More than thirty percent of Fortune 500 companies use Upwork. Clients include Airbnb, Automattic, BISSELL, GE, and Microsoft.
Up to date, the Center’s research indicates that Upwork also dominates Serbia and the region in terms of online workers. The Upwork community of independent professionals has a wealth of skills (over 8,000 skills based on Upwork classification) including software development, creative solutions and design services, finance and accounting, consulting and customer support.
In order to more accurately assess the importance and scope of the regional market, GigmeterTM continuously monitors, in real time, the geographical dispersion of online workers in absolute and relative terms, the range of earnings by sex of workers, region and profession they perform. The collected and updated data will be displayed every second month on the Center’s GigmeterTM page starting in April 2020. The data update is ongoing.
* The countries that GigmeterTM monitors are: Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Northern Macedonia and Albania.