Electronically-mediated employment

BLS added four new questions to the May 2017 Contingent Worker Supplement. These questions were designed to measure an emerging type of work—electronically-mediated employment, generally defined as short jobs or tasks that workers find through mobile apps that both connect them with customers and arrange payment for the tasks. Data from these questions were not included in the June 7 news release on contingent and alternative employment arrangements.

BLS continues to evaluate the data from the four new questions. Findings from this research will be published in a Monthly Labor Review article by September 30, 2018.

Subscribe to the BLS News Service to receive updates about data from these new questions by e-mail (check the box for the contingent and alternative employment arrangements news release).

Microdata variables related to these four new questions will be available from the Census Bureau after BLS has published estimates from the new questions.

 

What are the questions used to identify electronically-mediated work?

At the end of the Contingent Worker Supplement, employed people were asked the following questions:

Intro I now have a few questions related to how the Internet and mobile apps have led to new types of work arrangements. I will ask first about tasks that are done in-person and then about tasks that are done entirely online.

Q1. Some people find short, IN-PERSON tasks or jobs through companies that connect them directly with customers using a website or mobile app. These companies also coordinate payment for the service through the app or website.

For example, using your own car to drive people from one place to another, delivering something, or doing someone’s household tasks or errands.

Does this describe ANY work you did LAST WEEK?

  • Yes
  • No

 

Q1a. Was that for your main job, your second job, or other additional work for pay?

  • Main job
  • Second job
  • Additional work for pay

(The question wording and response option for "second job" only appears for people who were previously identified in the survey as having more than one job. For people with only one job, the question read "Was that for your job or additional work for pay?")

 

Q2. Some people select short, ONLINE tasks or projects through companies that maintain lists that are accessed through an app or a website. These tasks are done entirely online and the companies coordinate payment for the work.

For example, data entry, translating text, web or software development, or graphic design.

Does this describe ANY work you did LAST WEEK?

  • Yes
  • No

 

Q2a. Was that for your main job, your second job, or other additional work for pay?

  • Main job
  • Second job
  • Additional work for pay

(The question wording and response option for "second job" only appears for people who were previously identified in the survey as having more than one job. For people with only one job, the question read "Was that for your job or additional work for pay?")

 

 

Last Modified Date: June 12, 2018