June 28, 2022
Gig workers will form 4.1% of the total workforce in India by FY30
47% of the jobs in the country’s gig economy are medium-skilled, about 22% are high-skilled, and about 31% are low-skilled
Due to its low-entry barriers, the gig and platform industry brings in a significant potential for job growth in India
The gig work sector is evolving and will become an important component of the future’s blended workforce
The Indian gig workforce is expected to expand to 23.5 million workers by 2029-30, a huge 200% jump from the current 7.7 million now, according to a report by the government’s think-tank Niti Aayog titled ‘India’s Booming Gig and Platform Economy’.
Understanding the term
Gig workers are independent contractors, who fall outside the traditional employer-employee arrangement. They can be classified as platform workers and non-platform workers.
Platform workers are those whose work is based on digital platforms, and non-platform gig workers are generally those who work in conventional sectors and are engaged part-time, full-time, or for casual wages.
According to the report, gig workers will form 4.1% of the total workforce in India by FY30, compared to the present 1.5%. While the gig work is expanding across all sectors, 47% of the jobs are medium-skilled, about 22% are high-skilled, and about 31% are low-skilled.
The report further said that due to its low-entry barriers, the gig and platform industry offers significant potential for job growth in India. For people who had prior employment in comparable non-platform occupations, the sector presents improved salary potential. Therefore, it might act as a stimulant for occupational mobility.
As per the report, the “platformization” of work had given rise to a new category of labour known as “platform labour” which was not a part of the traditional categorization of formal and informal labour.
According to a statement from industry body Nasscom, the gig-work sector is evolving and will become an important component of the future’s blended workforce. It further added that favourable government policies and hybrid work models to assist India’s knowledge economy will help in the expansion of gig models, and will result in the availability of a bigger talent pool and job creation.
The report recommends extending social security measures to gig workers and their families, which includes sick leave, insurance, and pension. The report further said that increased access to finance has to be properly arranged, where gig workers can leverage from cash-flow-based loans, and first-time borrowers participating in the platform economy could be prioritised.