Only a fifth of the 7.7 million Indian gig workers are highly skilled

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Only a fifth of the 7.7 million Indian gig workers are highly skilled
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  • Only 22% of 7.7 million gig workers in India are highly skilled, while 47% are involved in low-skilled jobs.
  • Retail trade and sales sector — with 2.7 million workers — is the largest employer of gig workers in India, as per Niti Aayog report.
  • Overall, the number of gig workers now contribute to 1.5% of India’s total workforce from 1.3% earlier.
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The gig economy of India, which employs over 7.7 million people, consists of only 22% of highly skilled workforce who are involved in highly skilled jobs, as per a new report released by Niti Aayog on gig economy.

Whereas 47% of them work in medium skilled jobs and about 31% of them in low skilled jobs, according to India’s Booming Gig and Platform Economy report.

“It may be expected that while the domination of medium skills would continue till 2030, gig work with other skills will emerge,” the report says.

The trend also shows that the concentration of workers in medium skills is gradually declining and that of the low skilled and high skilled is increasing.

Gig work is expanding in all sectors


IndustryNo. of gig workers (in million)
Retail trade and sales2.7
Transportation 1.3
Manufacturing0.6
Finance and insurance0.6
Education1
Source: NITI Aayog

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Retail trade and sales sector — with 2.7 million workers — is the largest employer of gig workers in India, followed by the transportation sector with 1.3 million. Manufacturing, finance and insurance sectors both hire 0.6 million each.

The retail sector saw an increase of 1.5 million workers during 2011-12 to 2019-20, transport sector by 0.8 million, and manufacturing by 0.4 million, according to the report.

Gig workers in the education sector like tutors and more went up 66,000 to more than 0.1 million or 1 lakh by 2019-20.

Overall, the number of gig workers now contribute to 1.5% of India’s total workforce from 1.3% earlier. It could rise to 23.5 million workers in 2029-30 when it will account for 4.1% of the total workforce, the report.

“Gig work is bound to expand due to the technological possibilities in numerous production spaces. At the same time, it also provides the opportunity for workers to transcend the limitations of work-time and work-space. Given this potential of gig work, the future would see a growing prominence of such work,” the report said further.

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