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American Trends Panel

What is it measuring?

The number of people engaged in any form of online work, along with their motivations for pursuing that work, demographics, and public attitudes. The definition of online work is very broad, and includes taking online surveys, renting property, and using labor platforms

What does it tell us?

24 percent of Americans have earned income online in the past year, including 8 percent via labor platforms and 18 percent on capital platforms.

How is it collected?

Through the Pew American Trends Panel, administered online for internet users, and by mail for non-internet users. Panel participants were initially recruited among random-digit-dial survey respondents. There were 4,579 respondents, with an 82 percent response rate among online panelists and 74 percent among mail respondents.

Who collects it?

Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan think tank that examines social issues, public opinion, and demographic trends.


The definition of online work is very broad, including taking a survey for a few cents, or selling something online once.

How to access this data?

Publicly available from Pew Research Center as part of the American Trends Panel Wave 19.


Gig Work, Online Selling and Home Sharing; 2016; Aaron Smith; Pew Research Center;