How many people microwork in France? Estimating the size of a new labor force

12 Jan 2019  ·  Ludec Clément Le, Tubaro Paola, Casilli Antonio A. ·

Microwork platforms allocate fragmented tasks to crowds of providers with remunerations as low as few cents. Instrumental to the development of today's artificial intelligence, these micro-tasks push to the extreme the logic of casualization already observed in "uberized" workers... The present article uses the results of the DiPLab study to estimate the number of people who microwork in France. We distinguish three categories of microworkers, corresponding to different modes of engagement: a group of 14,903 "very active" microworkers, most of whom are present on these platforms at least once a week; a second featuring 52,337 "routine" microworkers, more selective and present at least once a month; a third circle of 266,126 "casual" microworkers, more heterogeneous and who alternate inactivity and various levels of work practice. Our results show that microwork is comparable to, and even larger than, the workforce of ride-sharing and delivery platforms in France. It is therefore not an anecdotal phenomenon and deserves great attention from researchers, unions and policy-makers. read more

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