Table of contents
1. Survey's objectives and focus
The objective of the ETUI Internet and Platform Work Survey (IPWS) is to map the extent to which the internet, and in particular online platforms, websites or mobile applications, are used as a tool to generate income. We examine a broad range of paid activities that can be found or carried out online and that typically fall outside of a standard employment relationship. We group online sources for generating income into two categories: internet work; and platform work as a subset of internet work for those tasks that are carried out on an online labour platform.
One of the main features of the ETUI IPWS is that it reflects an entire adult (working age) population in each country. The use of standard probability sampling allows us to estimate the proportion of internet and platform workers, and to identify their characteristics, in a way that is generalisable to the working age population. The survey includes information on working hours and income from platform work, as well as detailed information on labour market participation, including trade union membership, and socio-economic status.
2. Scope of the survey
The first wave of the ETUI IPWS was carried out between February 2018 and April 2019 in five central and eastern European countries: Bulgaria, Hungary, Latvia, Poland and Slovakia. It was carried out via computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI) (PAPI in Latvia) as part of the Omnibus fieldwork by independent research institutes based in each surveyed country. Respondents were selected using multistage stratified random sampling. The final sample included at least 1,000 individuals aged 18 and older per country, representative of the country’s adult population.
The second wave of the ETUI IPWS was given a considerably broader scope in terms of the questionnaire and geographical coverage. It was carried out in Spring 2021 in 14 European countries: Austria, Bulgaria, Czechia, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Spain.
The same questionnaire was administered again in Autumn 2021, as the third wave of the ETUI IPWS, in eight of these countries: Bulgaria, Czechia, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Slovakia and Spain.
Both waves in 2021 were carried out via computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) on a representative sample of adults (aged 18-65). A probability sample was selected using a random digit dialling (RDD) method that randomly selects individuals based on their mobile phone numbers. Fieldwork in all countries was harmonised and coordinated by Ipsos.
How local labour markets are driving the growth in internet and platform work
Online labour platforms are redefining the world of work, but little is known even now about the drivers of worker engagement in this type of activity. Find out more
Results from the second ETUI Internet and Platform Work Survey (IPWS)
This paper presents some of the key insights from the second wave of the ETUI Internet and Platform Work Survey (ETUI IPWS) conducted in 14 member states of the European Union (EU) in Spring 2021. The use of standard probability sampling allows us to estimate the proportion of internet and platform workers, and to identify their characteristics, in... Find out more - see the launch event
from the second ETUI Internet and Platform Work Survey
The second wave of the ETUI Internet and Platform Work Survey (ETUI IPWS) was conducted in 14 member states of the European Union (EU) in Spring 2021.The survey was carried out via computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) on a representative sample of adults (aged 18-65), with fieldwork in all countries harmonised and coordinated by Ipsos... Find out more
Evidence from the ETUI Internet and Platform Work Survey (2019)
This working paper presents the results of the ETUI Internet and Platform Work Survey conducted in Bulgaria, Hungary, Latvia, Poland and Slovakia in 2018-2019. The objective is to map the extent of digital labour in central and eastern Europe (CEE) based on the analysis of two types of online sources for generating income: internet work; and its subset, platform work. The researchers did not find evidence that internet and platform work is creating a qualitatively new labour market that encroaches on traditional age and gender segmentation. Neither is it a market of ‘student jobs’. Moreover, the labour market situation of internet and platform workers was somewhat more precarious than that for employed people generally, with a higher incidence of non-standard and fragmented employment. Find out more
In the IPWS, online sources for generating income are grouped into two categories: internet work; and platform work as a subset of internet work for those tasks that can be carried out on online labour platforms. Figure 1 below illustrates the scope of and overlap between these two categories.
Internet work is a broad category that covers possibly all the activities aimed at generating income through the use of online platforms, websites or mobile apps. This includes digitally-mediated services as well as the sale of goods (but, importantly, excluding the second-hand sale of belongings by individuals) and the renting of assets online. Internet work is not necessarily mediated by online platforms and only a subset of the activities defined as internet work can typically be done through digital labour platforms.
Platform work only includes work done on online labour platforms and is a subset of internet work. It comprises the provision of platform-mediated services and excludes the renting of accommodation, generating income through social media accounts and the sale of products online. Moreover, to identify platform work within these types of activity, we asked respondents to provide the name of the website, platform or app that they typically use in their internet work. Based on this information, we classified an activity as either being done through a digital labour platform or not.