Published: 17 April 2018

Around 0.3 per cent of Finns earned at least a quarter of their income through digital platforms in 2017

In 2017, around 0.3 per cent of Finns aged 15 to 74 years had earned at least one-quarter of their income through various digital platforms during the previous 12 months. In numbers, this involves around 14,000 persons. A digital platform here refers to various online platforms through which a person can sell his or her work input or otherwise earn income. Data on persons working through platforms were collected for the first time in connection with Statistics Finland’s Labour Force Survey in 2017.

Those who had earned at least one-quarter of their income through platforms in 2017 were mainly men (60%) and nearly one-half of them were aged under 35. This significant earning through platforms was most common for sole entrepreneurs (1.4% had earned at least one-quarter of their income through them), while for employees the share was just 0.2 per cent.

The number of those working through platforms was studied in connection with the Labour Force Survey in 2017 with the question: ”Have you during the past 12 months worked or otherwise earned income through the following platforms: 1. Airbnb, 2. Uber, 3. Tori.fi/Huuto.net, 4. Solved, 5. Some other, 6. None of the above.” It was also asked how large share of earnings the income received through platforms formed.

Those who had selected “some other” were asked to specify the platform in question. The spectrum of responses describes well in how many ways platforms can be understood. Various online marketplaces, Facebook and car and home selling sites were listed most of all. In addition, the use of billing services was mentioned here – the direct connection of some responses to platform jobs remained to some extent unclear.

When all who said they had earned income through platforms in 2017 are included, the share rises to seven per cent of the population or to about 290,000 persons. For most, it was a question of using various online marketplaces and the income received that way was not that significant. The much talked about Airbnb has not, at least so far, reached a visible position as an income source for Finns. However, a total of 0.2 per cent of the population, around 9,000 persons, had earned at least some extra income through this type of accommodation services.

If we focus on the 0.3 per cent of the population who had earned at least one-quarter of their income through platforms, the picture becomes clearer. In this group, the income source was for one half Tori.fi/Huuto.net or other used goods or vehicle sales platforms. However, it was fairly common in the group that income had been earned through a platform specialised in employment service or the sharing economy, such as Upwork. In addition, different investment and betting sites were also mentioned. Many also named ‘their own website’ as their income source.

You can read more about measuring work through platforms in the blog .


Source: Labour Force Survey 2017. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Hanna Sutela 029 551 2907, Anna Pärnänen 029 551 3795, tyovoimatutkimus@stat.fi

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma

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Updated 17.4.2018

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Labour force survey [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-7857. Families and work 2017. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 19.7.2018].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/tyti/2017/14/tyti_2017_14_2018-04-17_tie_001_en.html

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