Measurement of Digital Platform Work and Workers

Closed 30 Nov 2022

Opened 14 Oct 2022


The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), like most national statistical organisations, is working to expand its statistics on relatively new and emerging forms of employment, including digital platform workers.

While digital platform workers and their work have always been included within existing labour statistics on employment and hours, they are a relatively small group of workers who have not been separately identifiable.

Specifically measuring digital platform workers and their working arrangements will provide insights into the extent to which this working arrangement is used in Australia, how this is changing over time, the nature of digital platform work and the characteristics of digital platform workers.

The ABS is working with other Australian Government agencies and the international statistical community to provide conceptual understanding and measurement of digital platform workers.

Conceptual understanding

The international statistical community are in the process of developing conceptual and measurement approaches for new forms of employment, including digital platform work. The ABS is involved in these discussions and is leveraging the experience of a broad range of countries, given this is still a relatively new area of labour statistics around the world.

The ABS is taking the evolving international conceptual and measurement frameworks for digital platform workers and applying it in the Australian context, beginning with a series of experimental questions asked of respondents in the outgoing survey rotation group in the Labour Force Survey.

The ABS is seeking input on the conceptual understanding as applied to the Australian context.

Measurement approach

The ABS has developed an initial experimental survey module on digital platform workers, which it is currently in the process of testing. The initial module is included in the ABS Multi-Purpose Household Survey, which is asked of outgoing respondents in the monthly Labour Force Survey, for the 2022-23 financial year.

From this, the ABS expects to progressively analyse data through
2022-23, to identify further refinements to the survey questions for 2023-24, and to determine what initial experimental statistics can be produced from 2022-23
data. In time, the ABS will add a dedicated module within the ‘Characteristics of Employment’ supplementary topic in the Labour Force Survey, which already collects a broad range of working arrangement information from employed people on an annual basis.

The ABS is seeking input on the proposed survey topics with feedback to be incorporated in the survey questions to be tested in 2023-24.

What happens next

The ABS will consider all submissions received from this consultation and will provide an update on future directions in early 2023.  

The ABS will not respond to individual submissions, instead a summary will be published in response to all submissions.

Public consultation and ongoing engagement will continue to inform the evolutionary approach to measuring digital platform work and workers.


  • General Public


  • Labour Market