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In search of the Gig Economy

Ian Brinkley
02 August 2016

The first in a series of reports looking at what constitutes the Gig Economy and its impact on the labour market. Digital services and platforms are disrupting the way labour markets work throughout the world. The emergence of the ‘gig economy’ is part of this disruption. As part of The Work Foundation’s programme on the future of work and new technology, this is the first of two reports on the size and impact.

This report sets out the evidence of the impact of the emerging ‘gig economy’ at an aggregate level and the need for better definitions and measurement.

The gig economy is related to but is different from the “sharing economy”. Both have proved elusive to define, and both have lent themselves to exaggeration about their current size and likely growth. In this report our working definition of the gig economy includes all those who use digital platforms to negotiate discrete parcels of work directly with customers and clients.

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