Productivity & Innovation

Leveraging digital labour markets to increase employment opportunities

  • Blog Post Date 28 June, 2022
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Farzana Afridi

Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi Centre

India’s relatively young population, the pace of adoption of smartphones and digital technology, and rapid urbanisation has contributed to the growth of digital labour markets. In recent years, we have seen the proliferation of gig work and labour market platforms like Uber, Urban Company, Swiggy and others. This growth has accelerated in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic with India currently accounting for 8% of the world’s digital labour platforms. 

In this edition of I4I Conversations, Prof. Farzana Afridi (Indian Statistical Institute) speaks with Dr K Rajeswara Rao and Dr Sakshi Khurana (NITI Aayog) to examine how job-matching technology platforms could be harnessed to increase employment opportunities, through skill-matching and technology-based job allocation.

In reference to the NITI Aayog report ‘India's Booming Gig and Platform Economy: Perspectives and Recommendations for the Future of Work’, released on 27 June 2022, they discuss how the flexibility and low entry barriers offered by the gig economy transcend the limitations of work time and workspace. This enables a range of workers – including women, young workers, and people with disabilities – with varying skill sets and vulnerabilities to harness these platforms. The speakers outline the importance of the transferability of skills, and how digital platforms in collaboration with the government can enable the creation of skill certificates for workers. Moreover, they highlight the need for small businesses and entrepreneurs to maintain linkages with bigger platforms in order to be sustainable. Additionally, this link is necessary for gig and platform workers to have access to benefits such as health insurance and minimum wages to ensure job security, well-being, and decent working conditions. 

This is the tenth edition of I4I Conversations.

Also available as a podcast.

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