Gig economy growth in India; Over 7.5 Million workers engaged in 2020-21: Report

According to India’s Ministry of labour, the country’s gig workers are engaged in their work in the year 2020-21, says Niti Aayog’s report. In the year, 2020-21, almost 77 lakh workers were engaged in the gig economy and they constituted 1.5% of the total workforce in India. The report also says that there will be a growth in gig workers’ engagement in their income earning activities, more than three-fold to 23.5 million by FY30 from 7.7 million in FY21.

“It is estimated that in 2020-21, 7.7 million workers were engaged in the gig economy. They constituted 2.6% of the non-agricultural workforce or 1.5% of the total workforce in India. The gig workforce is expected to expand to 23.5 million workers by 2029-30. They are expected to form 6.7% of the non-agricultural workforce or 4.1% of the total livelihood in India by 2029-30,” the  Aayog said in a report.

Who is a gig worker?

Gig workers are independent contractors, online platform workers, contract firm workers, on-call workers, and temporary workers. Gig workers enter into formal agreements with on-demand companies to provide services to the company’s clients. Some of the gig workers are platform workers who use apps like Ubereats, Zomato, etc to meet their clients. While non-platform workers are casual wage workers. 

Among the total gig workers in the country, 47% are medium-skilled job workers, 22% are high-skilled workers, and the remaining 31% jobs are low-skilled. The report further stated that there is a need to consider the total size of the gig economy in the country. 

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According to the report, over the next decade, India’s gig economy will see $ 250 billion in transactions, accounting for 1.25 percent of the country’s GDP. Manufacturing, construction, retail, transportation and logistics are the four industries with the highest potential for job creation in the future.

The gig economy got its wings in the country, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic days when mobility was a constraint. According to Niti Aayog, an estimated 6.8 million gig workers were there in the country in 2019-20, forming 2.4% of the non-farm workforce or 1.3% of the country’s total workers.