How many people are supported by the platform economy? Big data analysis in the United States


Technological innovation has changed traditional economic forms. The online platform economy has become an important part of people’s daily lives. Consumers can use these platforms to purchase almost any goods or services they need from Internet providers. Does this innovative economy create viable new options for earning a living? This issue is issued by JPMorgan Chase Bank. Co) “The Economic Development Report of the Internet Platform” released in September 2018.
Source of data
The study used data from 38 million payments to 2.3 million accounts on 128 online platforms between 2013 and 2018. The platforms involved are divided into the following four categories:
Transport, mainly driven by drivers(driven by drivers)
Non-transport services, including workers who provide services such as dog walking, home maintenance, telemedicine, etc..
Sales industry, based on independent e-commerce(independent consumers)
Leasing industry, including taxis, leased goods, etc. provided by the lessor(sales of rental houses, parking spaces, personnel, etc..)
Results of the analysis

Market profile
The economy of the online platform continues to grow. From 2013 to 2018, the number of participants and the total number of transactions of the transport Internet platform in the platform economy also dominated.
First, look at the platform revenue for the sample from the monthly revenue ratio(left). Participation in the online platform economy has steadily increased, from 0.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2013 to 1.6 per cent in the first quarter of 2018. In 2018, transport accounted for 1.0 per cent, more than the other three combined. At the same time, the transportation industry is also the core source of platform scale growth, and the growth of the other three industries is not obvious. Secondly, taking into account the flexibility of the platform participants ‘entry/exit mechanism, further analysis is carried out from the annual data(dotted line on the right). The results showed that based on March 2018, the sample share of platform revenue over the past year was 4.5.

Most active in the first quarter
The figure below shows the results of a sample data analysis that generated at least one platform revenue from August 2016 to July 2017. The data show that the first quarter(January-March each year) was a period of economic dynamism for the Platform. In terms of transportation, approximately 58 per cent of the population received platform revenue in the first quarter; The other three industries were relatively concentrated and the sales industry performed best, reaching 70.7 %. In a 12-month cycle, similar results are displayed in any cycle.

Disproportionate population size and benefits
Profits in the transport sector fell by 53 per cent between 2013 and 2017, compared with 69 per cent in the rental sector, with little volatility in non-transport services. Overall, between the first quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of 2015, the platform’s average earnings grew at a rate of about 2 per cent per month, then stabilized, with a downward trend starting in mid-2016. It is worth noting that the average monthly income of drivers also shows a steady downward trend.

Platform revenue as a percentage of total revenue
According to the data, for people active in the platform economy, platform income accounts for about 54 % of total household income; Overall, however, Platform revenue represents only 20 per cent of total revenue. The platform does not have a large-scale alternative to traditional sources of income. In addition, the degree of reliance on the platform varies slightly from industry to industry. In 2013, participants in transport platforms received 80 per cent of their total revenue from the platform, but showed a steady downward trend. For non-transport transport, although the overall size is small, the income of Platform participants is relatively stable in the time dimension, accounting for about 50 % of total revenue; The share of platform revenue in the sales industry has also stabilized at about 40 %; The share of platform revenue in the leasing industry is comparable to the overall level.

Regional differences
Of the 23 States and 26 cities, Nevada and San Francisco have the highest participation rates, with approximately 2.8 households achieving platform income in March 2018. In addition, unemployed persons and men are more likely to participate in transport platforms than employed persons and women. Young people are more likely to gain additional income through the platform economy.

The scale of the Internet platform economy has continued to expand, and there are obvious divisions between different industries. This raises the question of the need for targeted policy measures. After all, for most people, platform participation is not a full-time job, and platform participants do not give up their formal jobs to make money. In the case of the transport sector, per capita income also declined as the number of Platform participants increased. Overall, there is no evidence that income from web platforms has replaced traditional household income


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