The online platform economy: Has growth peaked?

In this report the JPMorgan Chase Institute assembled one of the largest samples of participants in the Online Platform Economy to date: over 240,000 de-identified individuals who earned income between October 2012 and June 2016 from one or more of 42 different platforms. Our findings point to several dimensions of how the growth in online platform participation has slowed. First, growth in participation in the Online Platform Economy peaked in 2014 and has slowed since then. Second, while monthly earnings on capital platforms increased by 34 percent between June 2014 and June 2016, they decreased on labor platforms by 6 percent. Third, turnover in the Online Platform Economy is high: one in six participants in any given month is new, and more than half of participants exit within 12 months. Fourth, employed, higher-income, and younger participants are more likely to exit the Online Platform Economy within a year. Finally, non-employed individuals are more likely than the employed to participate in labor platforms but represent a decreasing share of participants as the unemployment rate drops. In sum, growth in online platform participation is highly dependent on attracting new participants or increasing attachment of existing participants. As outside options improve, recruiting and retaining platform workers might become increasingly difficult.


Access the Research publication

The online platform economy: Has growth peaked?
Farrell, D. and Greig, F. (2017), The online platform economy: Has growth peaked? JP Morgan Chase Institute.


  • Research publication
  • United States
  • Yes
  • accommodation, household tasks, transport, professional services
  • On-location platform-determined routine work, On-location client-determined moderately skilled work, On-location platform-determined higher-skilled work
  • worker demographics, income, motivation for platform work, employment status, skills and employability
  • English
  • JP Morgan Chase Institute (Other)
  • Quantitative research
  • 2017
  • Open access
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