According to the Online Labour Index, a joint effort of the Oxford Internet Institute and the University of Oxford, the greatest percentage of the world’s gig workers are located in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, followed by the U.S. and the Philippines.

“When it comes to payouts, the message for marketplaces is clear: In order to attract gig workers to your marketplace, make sure to pay special attention to payments options in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan,” says Samish Kumar, Transpay CEO.


According to the iLabour Project site, the index is the first economic indicator that provides an online gig economy equivalent of conventional labor market statistics and tracks the number of projects and tasks across platforms in real time. The information is collected from four of the largest online labor platforms, also known as online freelancing or online outsourcing platforms: FiverrFreelancerGuru, and PeoplePerHour. The Labour Index site states that these four marketplaces represent at least 40 percent of the global market for platform-based online work and are “likely to give a reasonably good indication of the overall contours of the market, and especially of what skills different countries bring to the global market.”

The latest Online Labour Index figures show that India is home to more than 25 percent of workers observed, followed by Bangladesh at some 17 percent and Pakistan at about 13 percent. Together, the three countries total 55 percent of all online gig workers. The U.S. is in fourth place with around seven percent, with the Philippines close behind at around six percent.

Also of note is the preponderance of India-based gig workers in the field of software development and technology, where that country commands the largest market share by far.

In a 2018 Transpay survey, 482 female freelancers in India were queried about their payment preferences, and found that although 48 percent said they would prefer to be paid via Local Bank Transfers, direct to their bank account in their local currency, none of them were being paid this way, opening the door for marketplaces to add this option in order to grow their market share.


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