One of the main issues regarding the social impact of digital platforms is their contribution in terms of employment generation and job opportunities. As we have already pointed out in previous posts, several studies, such as the EU report The Social Protection of Workers in the Platform Economy, establish an important inter-relationship between work on digital platforms and precariousness in the workplace, since, in addition, in the context of the 2008 financial crisis, many workers have been pushed to seek alternative solutions to the difficulty of finding employment.
At present, two positions exist in the absence of conclusive data and background studies. On the one hand, those who point out that digital platforms hardly create employment, as in the case of a study by Ostelea which states that low job creation is a characteristic of the technology sector in general “in contrast to traditional industry and, in particular, the services sector, which are much more job-intensive. And other authors and experts, who point out that collaborative economics creates positive opportunities, such as Arun Sundarararajan, a researcher and professor at New York University, who recently said, “There will be money and jobs for everyone. Economies always create new activity to meet new needs. Technical progress increases efficiency and replaces humans with machines, but that has always happened. Now we pay attention to it because it affects us” (in this interview).
Does the collaborative economy generate positive and future-oriented job opportunities? Or is it rather low quality employment or low pay?