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Commission welcomes moves to measure the gig economy

Gig worker
12 July 2021

The Productivity Commission welcomes the Government’s response to its 2020 Technological change and the future of work inquiry, which confirms work will start on measuring the gig economy.

The available statistics on gig work are limited, making comparisons difficult as they use different definitions and offer imperfect measures. Improving official data sources will help monitor labour-market trends, especially the extent of digital platform work and other new or emerging forms of employment, and the impact on traditional employment.

The Government has agreed that Stats NZ will lead work with other agencies to consider how the Commission’s recommendation (R4.1) on improving definitions and ongoing measures of the gig economy can be addressed.

Stats NZ will undertake this work in consultation with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and other government agencies, as required. It will refer to international work by the ILO, OECD and UNECE, as well as work by Motu on measuring the gig economy which was undertaken for the Commission.

The Government asked the Commission to explore the impacts of new and changing technology on the quantity and nature of work. The Commission’s final report presented 35 findings and 18 recommendations to Government for policy changes to better prepare current and future New Zealanders for the future of work.

The Government agreed with the direction of the Commission’s recommendations. It found that many are closely connected to the Government’s current Reform of Vocational Education and Training programme, Te Whakahou i te Mātauranga Ahumahinga.

The Future of Work Tripartite Forum is also considering the issues raised by the Commission. The Forum is developing a model for a social unemployment scheme to better support displaced workers as per the Commission’s recommendation R4.12.

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Image credit: Robert Anasch