GIG WORKERS IN THE REGION
Gigmeter looks at trends in the gig communities of Serbia and South-Eastern Europe, including Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Croatia. This index seeks to identify the structural aspects of the gig labour market and the similarities and differences between the region’s gig workers, as well as to reveal trends and evolving changes. Below are the findings of Gigmeter monitoring for October 2020.
Upwork, Freelancer, and Guru led the field in South-Eastern Europe by number of registered gig workers, together exceeding 100,000 freelancers from the region in October. The figure below shows the ratios between gig workers registered on the three platforms. Relative to the previous measurement in May, Upwork recorded a significant relative increase in its registered gig workforce over other platforms. Upwork has remained the most popular gig marketplace in five countries, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Albania, and, between May and October, also emerged as the top freelancing platform in Croatia and Bulgaria. Upwork’s regional dominance was underscored by the fact that it boasted over 50 percent of the total active gig workforce in three countries (North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Albania), and more than 40 percent in another four (Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Bulgaria). Upwork was only barely beaten into second place in Romania by Freelancer, whilst in Hungary the largest proportion of the gig workforce was active on Guru, which was nevertheless ahead of Upwork by the slimmest of margins.Read more ...
SHARE OF GIG WORKERS BY COUNTRY AS % OF REGIONAL TOTAL
To control for the differences in size between the countries, the gig workforce was observed in both absolute and relative terms. Romania was home to the most gig workers in absolute terms across all platforms, which was only to be expected given the size of the country’s overall population. In relative terms, North Macedonia had the greatest share of freelancers per 100,000 population. Finally, a mix of both absolute and relative observations revealed Serbia was ranked best, as it came second in both measurements.Read more ...
NUMBER OF GIG WORKERS PER 100,000 POPULATION, BY COUNTRY
To ensure a fair assessment of the state of the gig market and eliminate the impact of large differences in size between the countries observed, the figure shows the relative numbers of gig workers relative to country population. The latest findings indicate that Serbia fell into second place in comparison with May, with North Macedonia coming first. Hungary has the fewest gig workers per 100,000 population: according to this criterion its freelancer community is 8.5 times smaller than that of first-ranked North Macedonia.
REGIONAL GIG WORKERS BY PROFESSION
The proportions of the overall pool of the region’s gig workers by occupation remained nearly identical to the May survey. Creative and multimedia services and software development and tech accounted for over 60 percent of the workforce, whilst the aggregate share of gig workers in sales and marketing support stood at only slightly above 10 percent. In this sample, the Serbian gig labour market presented a picture of the entire region in miniature, as the regional percentages of freelancers in the various occupations corresponded to those seen in the country. Tellingly, workers in creative and multimedia services outnumbered those in professional services by a factor of nearly 9.
REGIONAL GIG WORKERS BY COUNTRY AND PROFESSION
In contrast to the average regional values, the shares of individual professions by country varied greatly. Comparing the relative share of each profession in the entire region with the corresponding figures for the countries revealed the comparative advantages enjoyed by each. Here, Albanian gig workers were not only over-represented relative to the regional average in professional services, sales and marketing support, and software development and tech, but the relative shares of freelancers based in Albania in all these three professions exceeded those of all other countries. Read more ...
REGIONAL GIG WORKERS BY GENDER
In this sample, platform work was dominated by men: slightly over 6 in 10 of all gig workers were male. Men accounted for more than one-half of the platform workforce in each of the region’s countries, but some differences were nonetheless apparent. In contrast to the May survey, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Serbia exhibited more balance in October, with over 40 percent of all freelancers being women, whilst the opposite was found in Bosnia-Herzegovina, where the gender breakdown remained heavily weighted in favour of men, who accounted for three-quarters of all gig workers. To some extent, these findings reflect changes to the methodology as well.Read more ...
HOURLY RATES, IN US$
Tellingly, the average hourly rate continued its (modest) upward trend, rising by 1.6 percent in October relative to May. As in the May measurement, the rates demanded were generally highest in European Union member states, with the notable exception of Montenegro: Croatia came first, with Montenegro second, followed by Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria. The Macedonian gig worker pool remained the most competitive, as the prices demanded by these workers stood at 63.1 percent of the average hourly rate in Croatia, or 80.2 percent of the regional average. Albania, Serbia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina were all also below the regional average (of US$ 21.03).
Not only were men more numerous, but they also demanded higher hourly rates than women. Read more ...
HOW GIGMETAR WORKS
The Public Policy Research Centre (CENTAR) is a team of innovative researchers and digital enthusiasts investigating the future of work and development of the digital economy in Serbia and South-East Europe.