Mass layoff is in the news globally. The corporate world is now witnessing a tough time with major big tech companies including Meta, Twitter, Snap, and Microsoft announcing mass layoffs, which have tens of thousands of people unemployed.
So far, 17,604 employees have been laid off in India by 52 startups, including unicorns BYJU’S, Chargebee, Cars24, LEAD, Ola, Meesho, MPL, Innovaccer, Udaan, Unacademy, and Vedantu. Edtech has seen the most layoffs, followed by consumer services and e-commerce. The three sectors have collectively seen 31 startups lay off 15,039 employees so far. This means that almost 9 in every 10 employees laid off in 2022 were working in either consumer services, e-commerce, or edtech. In particular, edtech has come under intense scrutiny across the country. Not only have 15 edtech startups, including four of the seven edtech unicorns, laid off 7,483 employees, but the sector has also seen five startups shut down in 2022.
For most of us, Gig workers mean the person who works as delivery executives, drivers, or other home service providers. Whereas the gig economy includes all platforms that hire independent workers across sectors like e-commerce, technology, food and beverages, and home services, among others. The gig economy is a common marketplace in which temporary positions are common and organizations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements. According to a report by Boston Consulting Group, India’s gig workforce comprises 15 million workers employed across industries such as software, shared services, and professional services.
According to a 2019 report by the India Staffing Federation, India is the fifth largest in Flexi-staffing globally, after the US, China, Brazil, and Japan.
An estimated 56% of new employment in India is being generated by gig economy companies across both the blue-collar and white-collar workforce. Blue-collar gig workers perform manual labor and earn an hourly wage and white-collar gig workers are salaried professionals, typically referring to general office workers and management.
The demand for the gig workforce is seeing a rapid increase in India due to this layoff season. The mass layoff has led to creating gaps in roles and skill sets. Companies are looking for more sustainable, less time-consuming, and pocket-friendly ways to hire a workforce whereas employees are looking for a more at-ease work model and looking to take control of their work lives by striving to create an ideal work-life balance. Young talents demand more flexibility and independency – not just in terms of where and when they work, but also in the work they do and who it’s for.
According to a study from Accenture, 40 percent of companies are experiencing talent and skills shortages that impact their ability to innovate. All of these companies are looking to fill those gaps with a variety of freelancers.
The white-collar gig economy has gained momentum to another level in the past quarter. With mass layoffs all over the world, websites like Taskmo have stepped onto the scene and since gained major traction. By offering short-term gig opportunities in a gig marketplace, this company has attracted thousands of workers with secondary education, specialized skills, and a strong desire to detach themselves from the conventional career paths so familiar to their predecessors.
According to a report by Taskmo, White collar gig workforce demand has increased 7X in the last quarter whereas more than ten thousand gig workers have been onboarded with the majority of white-collar workers. Today Tasmo have skilled gig workers working remotely all around India, helping clients and businesses satisfy their needs for temp work with a range of high-skill tasks, whether that be copywriting, graphic design, UX and UI design, full stack development, and even voice acting.
To conclude, the white-collar gig economy is gaining momentum in comparison to blue-collar, and numbers are expected to only grow with time. People with advanced and competitive skills don’t mind working independently and for short-duration gigs, especially when they have the advantages like flexibility and independence. The gig economy provides ample opportunities to earn and learn at the same time. Workers are using their experience and expertise to work with a variety of clients keeping the geographical area aside. In another strand of the so-called ‘Lay off season, workers are now seeking greater flexibility, freedom and autonomy and are opting to leave traditional employment to join the white-collar gig workforce.