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When you’re a clickworker, no one knows you’re old

🌈 Abstract

The article discusses how older workers in Venezuela, particularly those who have been marginalized in the formal job market due to their age, have turned to online gig work as a means of supplementing their meager pensions and making ends meet.

🙋 Q&A

[01] Online Gig Work for Older Workers in Venezuela

1. What challenges do older workers in Venezuela face in the formal job market?

  • Older workers like Guillermina Alfonso have been turned away from opportunities in the formal job market due to their age.
  • Rafael Ramírez has seen job postings that limit applicants' age to below 30, as companies prefer to pay younger workers less based on their experience.

2. How has online gig work become a lifeline for older workers in Venezuela?

  • With pensions in Venezuela equivalent to only $3.50 per month, online gig work has become an attractive option for older workers to supplement their income.
  • Platforms like Workana, We Are Content, Upwork, and Freelancer allow older workers to find remote work opportunities without facing age discrimination.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic also forced older Venezuelans to become more technologically literate, making it easier for them to access online gig work.

3. What types of online gig work are older Venezuelans engaging in?

  • Older workers are doing a variety of online gig work, including data annotation and labeling for AI training, translating academic material, creating content for brands, and providing services like tutoring and ghostwriting.
  • Some, like Rafael Ramírez, are also learning to invest in crypto assets to build a retirement fund.

4. What are the challenges and benefits of online gig work for older Venezuelans?

  • The low pay from online gig work means wages don't go very far due to Venezuela's rampant inflation.
  • However, the flexibility and lack of age discrimination in online gig work provide a valuable source of income for older Venezuelans who have been marginalized in the formal job market.

[02] The Role of Technology and Skill Development

1. How are older Venezuelans learning the skills needed for online gig work?

  • Many older workers, like Yusneiyi Carballo and Omar Alfonzo, have taught themselves the necessary skills through online tutorials, video courses, and communities of practice.
  • Their existing technological familiarity, as in the case of Carballo's computer science background, has also helped them adapt to the online gig work environment.

2. What is the impact of technological literacy on older Venezuelans' ability to access online gig work?

  • The COVID-19 pandemic forced older Venezuelans to become more comfortable with online tools for communication and financial transactions, which has facilitated their transition to online gig work.
  • However, some older workers, like those mentioned by Omar Alfonzo, have struggled to keep up with emerging technologies, putting them at a disadvantage in the online gig economy.

[03] The Broader Context of Online Gig Work for Older Workers

1. What is the global data on the participation of older workers in the online gig economy?

  • According to a 2023 World Bank report, people over the age of 55 represent around 3.8% of the online gig workforce globally, or approximately 6.2 million workers.
  • In Latin America and the Caribbean, they account for 6% of the online gig workforce, suggesting millions of older workers in the region are engaged in this type of work.

2. How does the online gig economy provide opportunities for marginalized workers?

  • The article notes that online gig work platforms have gained momentum as alternatives for workers who are marginalized in formal labor markets due to factors like geography, discrimination, disability, and care responsibilities.
  • For older workers in Venezuela, the online gig economy has become a lifeline in the face of limited formal employment opportunities and meager pensions.
Shared by Daniel Chen ·
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