Govindraj Ethiraj, financial journalist talks to Bornali Bhandari, Professor at the National Council of Applied Economic Research.
[04:21] Why are gig workers, including food delivery staff, graduate degree holders? What does this say about their mobility and the relative power of the degree?
The NCAER a few weeks ago released a survey titled Socio Economic Impact Assessment of Food Delivery Platform Workers.
The report has some interesting findings.
What struck me for example was that almost 40 percent of Tier 2 city food delivery platform workers were college graduates, some 44 per cent of workers were the sole wage earners in their families, 21 percent were primary wage earners and 33 per cent were secondary wage earners.
Almost 70 per cent of workers were non-migrant, and were working in their own hometowns. 45 percent of workers lived in their own homes; this figure was as high as 70.7 percent for Tier 3 cities.
The study was built out of a telephone survey of 924 food delivery platform workers from one food delivery company spread across 28 cities with representation from all city types.
The majority of workers were below the age of 35. The average age of a food delivery worker was 29.1 (median was 28) and 99.9 percent of food delivery platform workers were not surprisingly men.
There are many more findings in this report which could be useful to understand what role the gig economy is presently playing as a jobs buffer to India’s youth. In big cities as well as in smaller towns
For example, gig jobs do confer a sense of independence and the easy entry and exit from the job, unlike the interview process in a regular job, is a big plus point.
The larger question of course is how could this evolve.
Remember the gig economy itself is not what it was or promised to be or funding has dried up and many companies in the space have wound down or shut shop, demonstrating the inherent lack of business case for these companies to exist.
I reached out to the lead author of this report, Bornali Bhandari, Professor at the National Council of Applied Economic Research or NCAER who studies, among other things, the impact of globalisation on development and analysing skills from an education, employability and employment or 3E perspective.