In Japan, some seniors turn to crowdsourcing job platforms for work



See the original story in Japanese.

How many years can a human adult keep working? The concept of a lifetime employment system or retirement at 60 is no longer what it used to be in Japan. So finding work on online marketplaces is fast becoming an option for many older citizens in the country.

Japanese crowdsoucing marketplace Crowdworks released an interesting report on Monday, showing how seniors (specifically workers over 50) use the crowdsourced platform for work. Some people are using it to make a living, and others do it to find a sense of fulfillment. We’d like to share some portions of the report and explore how a platform like Crowdworks can provide alternative working options.

Please note that this report is based on 129 responses from 2,649 users aged over 50, just a fraction of Crowdworks 40,000 users. For convenience, currencies in this post are converted at a rate of 100 yen for one US dollar.

More than 30% of the users over 50 earn $2,000 monthly from projects on CrowdWorks

73% receive $100 a month, and 34% earn more than $2,000 a month. 12% earn an annual income worth $50,000.


Crowdsourcing gives people more ways to work

It’s really interesting to see how users integrate crowdsourcing work into their lifestyle. The report shows us that almost half of the users are working on crowdsourced projects as freelancers, and the rest are working on projects as a supplement to their primary jobs.



More than a few people in Tokyo are keen to settle in countryside some day, but if they move, there are less opportunities to meet new people on business than urban areas.

The report shows that 70% of users are using the platform outside the Tokyo region. This is made possible by the high penetration of broadband internet in the country. Some users explained that the platform gives them a chance to find work, competing with the younger generation in urban areas.

In my view, crowdsourcing must be more accepted in Japanese society, and as quickly as possible. We’ve heard from Crowdworks’ CEO Koichiro Yoshita that many local governments are looking to the potential of crowdsourcing as a means of generating a new revenue stream for the elderly. I expect this kind of civic movement could be led by more assertively by governmental entities.

For the elderly generation, they can be reliable workers offering much experience. And for them, such platforms are a great opportunity to find a more enjoyable lifestyle, or to explore interesting work options.