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 数字平台改变就业市场 Digital marketplace reshapes casual labou

青岛希尼尔翻译咨询有限公司整理发布  2015-9-18


  青岛希尼尔翻译公司(www.sinosenior.com)2015年9月18日获悉, Dmitry Melnichenko’s wife had doubts about his plan to quit his stable, nine-to-five job to work from home as a freelance web developer; there was the uncertain income stream, the lack of interaction with colleagues and their young daughter to think about.

德米特里蔠利尼琴科(Dmitry Melnichenko)打算辞去朝九晚五的稳定工作,在家当一名自由网络开发员的时候,他的妻子有过疑虑:收入来源不稳定,缺乏与同事的互动,而且他们还有个小女儿,这些都是需要考虑的问题。

But not only has Mr Melnichenko earned more since going solo than his wife expected, now Mrs Melnichenko, a financial controller with a large Ukrainian agricultural company, is also quitting her job and training as a coder — joining more than 120,000 Ukrainian freelancers pitching for work on online platforms like Upwork.


“Previously I was working with one of the biggest outsourcing companies on supply chain management. But now I can work from home and I have my own clients, so I have much more freedom,” says Mr Melnichenko.


Ukraine’s army of freelancers, the fourth-largest in Upwork’s global network, earned $61m in 2014. For the mainly western companies that dole out jobs on the website, Ukrainian web and mobile developers are cheap, responsive and easily assessed based on verified reviews by previous clients.


Digital platforms like Upwork, which act as marketplaces matching freelancers with work, are bringing new opportunities to many people who were once on the fringes of the global workforce. But they are also becoming a hot political potato on both sides of the Atlantic.


Thanks largely to the backlash against ride-hailing service Uber, the type of work they are creating has come under intense scrutiny — in particular, the impact they are having on more traditional jobs that have come with secure pay and benefits.


Freelancers have long accounted for a significant share of the work in some professions. But platforms like Uber and Upwork — a US-based company formed from the merger of Elance and Odesk — represent a new way to break jobs into piecemeal tasks and reach many more workers, potentially affecting a far wider range of work.


Along with marketplaces for drivers and professionals, companies jumping on this bandwagon include those providing so-called “on-demand” services, from Instacart (grocery shopping) to Handy (home cleaning) and Task Rabbit (for an almost limitless range of small errands).

加入这股潮流的除了面向司机和专业人士的市场平台,还有提供所谓“按需”服务的公司,包括提供食品杂货服务的Instacart、提供家庭保洁的Handy,以及提供几乎各种跑腿服务的Task Rabbit。

In Europe, “these platforms aren’t yet at the scale of the US, they are only just emerging — but we estimate the same trends” will follow, says Jacques Bughin, a partner at McKinsey in Brussels.

麦肯锡(McKinsey)驻布鲁塞尔合伙人雅克布金(Jacques Bughin)表示:“这些平台(在欧洲)才刚刚出现,还达不到它们在美国的规模,但我们估计这里也会出现相同的势头。”

For the Melnichenkos and others, the rapid expansion of a digital marketplace for casual labour has offered greater flexibility and opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have had. Mr Melnichenko says the arrival of online freelance platforms has meant he doesn’t have to move to Kiev from his home town of Zaporizhia.


In the first three months of 2015 alone, 16,000 Ukrainian freelancers registered with Upwork; many thousands of them fresh school or university graduates, attracted by the promise of high earnings and flexible conditions. Mobile and web developers are the most highly sought workers but graphic designers and translators are also pitching for jobs.


“All of a sudden, someone with a particular profile — a talent, or work availability — can be matched with a need,” says James Manyika, a partner at McKinsey. That pulls more people into the workforce who were marginalised before, either because they couldn’t find a job or were working fewer hours than they wanted. “This is often lost in the debate,” he says.

麦肯锡合伙人詹姆斯氠尼卡(James Manyika)说:“突然之间,某一特定人群——拥有专业技能或空余时间的人,可以与工作需求相匹配了。”这让更多人进入劳动力市场,这些人以前要么是找不到工作,要么是工作时长达不到自己的目标。他说:“在这场辩论中,人们往往忘记了这一点。”

The emergence of new digital platforms will add 2.5 per cent to European employment numbers by 2025, with some countries like Spain potentially seeing twice that growth, according to McKinsey — though the higher numbers are partly the result of making work previously done in the informal “grey economy” visible by pulling it on to online marketplaces.


The overall effect is “greater participation” — a factor that could lift the GDP of the UK and Germany by nearly 1 percentage point over the next decades, consultants say.


In the US, digital platforms already provide a material source of income for many, according to Mary Meeker, a partner at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. The average professional finding work on Thumbtack earns $8,000 a year, with Airbnb users making $7,700 and eBay sellers pull in $3,000, she says — meaningful given most see these as supplemental forms of income. Companies like Uber also argue that many of their workers rely on several different platforms to make a living, making it unfair to judge them on the basis of their earnings from a single marketplace.

风投公司凯鹏华盈(Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers)合伙人玛丽猠克(Mary Meeker)表示,数字平台在美国已经成为许多人的重要收入来源。她说在Thumbtack上找活儿的专业人士平均能每年能赚到8000美元,Airbnb用户和eBay卖家的这个数字分别是7700美元和3000美元,考虑到这对于他们中大多数人只是外快,这已经不是个小数目了。优步等公司也认为,它们的许多员工都是同时在几个平台上接单,基于他们在单一平台上的收入来评判是不公平的。

But by opening up work to people who were unable to compete easily in a global market for talent, digital marketplaces have already produced some clear winners. Dennis Vorobyov, a web developer whose company, GBKSOFT, also bids for jobs on Upwork, says his mother, a doctor with over 25 years experience, earns less in one month than many of his web developer friends can earn from US clients in one day.

数字市场将工作提供给一些原本无法轻易在全球人才市场上参与竞争的人,由此已经促成了一些明显的赢家。丹尼斯茠坬比约夫(Dennis Vorobyov)是一名网络开发人员,他的公司GBKSOFT也在Upwork上寻找工作。丹尼斯说他母亲是一名医生,有25年工作经验,但她一个月的收入还不如他的网络开发员朋友从美国客户那儿一天赚的钱多。

“People are now dreaming of becoming programmers, we have more and more schools offering courses in programming,” he says. “This is a big change in psychology; young Ukrainians these days are brave; they aren’t scared to register online and start freelancing. It’s a different attitude to life and money.”