Q. Consider the following statements about Gig Economy:
1. Gig workers as those engaged in livelihoods outside traditional employer-employee relationship.
2. At present more than 50% of gig workers in India are engaged in retail trade and sale.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

[A] 1 only

[B] 2 Only

[C] Both 1 and 2

[D] Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: A

What is Gig Economy and Gig Worker?

  • Gig Economy is the evolving economic model wherein the firms hire workers on a part-time flexible basis rather than as full time employees;
  • The Code on Social Security, 2020 defines gig workers as those engaged in livelihoods outside traditional employer-employee relationship;
  • The workers work as freelancers or independent contractors. They generally have flexible and adaptable working hours based on individual preferences;
  • The jobs in gig economy typically require interacting with the users through online platforms e.g., the drivers engaged with cab hailing platforms (Uber, Ola etc.), delivery workers engaged with restaurant aggregators (Zomato, Swiggy etc.), or tutors delivering lectures over online platforms. The workers engaged in such jobs are called Gig Workers;
  • Gig Workers can be broadly classified into 2 categories: platform- and non-platform-based workers:
    • Platform workers are those whose work is based on online software apps or digital platforms.
    • Non-platform gig workers are generally casual wage workers and own-account workers in the conventional sectors, working part-time or full time;
  • The Gig workers can also be classified on the basis of skills. These are high-skilled, medium-skilled and low-skilled workers.
  • According to the NITI Aayog Report, at present, about 47% of the gig work is in medium-skilled jobs, about 22% in high-skilled jobs, and about 31% in low-skilled jobs.
  • Trends show that the concentration of workers in medium skills is gradually declining and that in low skills and high skills is increasing.

What is the size of Gig Economy in India? –

  • According to NITI Aayog Report, India’s gig workforce currently stands at 77 lakh (2020-21). It is expected to rise to 2.35 crore by 2029-30;
  • By 2029-30, gig workers will form 4.1% of India’s total workforce, rising from 1.5% in 2020-21;
  • Currently 27 lakh gig workers (35% of gig workers) are engaged in retail trade and sale, while 13 lakh (17%) are engaged in transportation sector. There are 6 lakh workers (8%) in manufacturing and another 6 lakh (8%) in finance and insurance;
  • A report by the Boston Consulting Group expects India’s gig economy to rise to 90 million jobs (9 crore) in the next 8-10 years;
  • Another industry report indicates that by 2024, more than 75% of the services industry will be staffed by gig workers;
  • A report by Ernst and Young observed that Indian Freelancers hold a 24% share of the global online gig economy;
  • According to a recent survey by a private firm, Quick Commerce, Healthtech, Fintech, and e-Commerce are the top sectors in the Indian gig economy. Within the gig workforce, work-from-home jobs account for 33% of the roles and 67% were on-field roles.

Source: EPIC July 2022