Over 20% of the 7.7 million public sector jobs in India are classified as high-skilled jobs, and 31% as low-skilled jobs. Medium-skilled jobs make up the remaining 47% of all employment.
According to a new report from the NITI Aayog, India’s shared economy already employs 7.7 million people and is expected to grow to 23.5 million by 2029–30.
The report, titled “India’s Booming Gig and Platform Economy,” represents the first effort by a policy think tank to estimate the number of gig workers, or people who make their living through arrangements other than the traditional employer-employee relationship, as well as the employment creation in the sector.
According to the study, the number of gig workers increased from 6.8 million in 2019-20 (1.3 percent of the total workforce) to 7.7 million in 2020-21 (1.5 percent of the total workforce), and it may even reach 23.5 million in 2029-30 (4.1 percent of the total workforce).
Retail trade and sales account for the largest share of gig workers, about 2.7 million, followed next by 1.3 million in the transportation sector. The report said. “About 6.2 lakhs (0.6 million) were in manufacturing and another 6.3 lakhs (0.6 million) in finance and insurance activities,” the report said.
The report classified about 31% of the 7.7 million jobs as low-skilled, 47% as medium-skilled, and only 22% as high-skilled jobs. But it underlined that there was a trend where the concentration of workers with medium skills was gradually declining and that of the low-skilled and high-skilled was increasing.
NITI Aayog vice-chairman Suman Bery described the report, unveiled at an event on Monday, as a valuable knowledge resource in understanding the potential of the sector and driving further research and analysis on gig and platform work.
The report recommended accelerating access to finance through products specifically designed for platform workers and linking self-employed individuals engaged in the business of selling regional and rural cuisines and street food with platforms that enable them to sell their products to wider markets.
NITI Aayog chief executive officer Amitabh Kant said the recommendations will serve as a crucial resource for ministries, state governments, training providers, platform companies, and other stakeholders to work in collaboration to promote growth and employment opportunities in this sector.