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Festive season opens up gig economy jobs, brings respite to the jobless



Written by Arnab Mitra
| New Delhi |

November 14, 2020 10:02:42 am

retail 2020According to, the e-commerce, retail sectors witnessed an uptick in hiring during festive period. Representational/

After facing a lay-off in May, Bengaluru-based software engineer Ridhhi Sharma was unemployed for six months. He tried searching for a new position but could not find a suitable one. However, the festive season turned his luck around, with Riddhi landing a job in Flipkart as a digital market strategist. There are concerns though — low payscale and the contractual nature of the job.

Riddhi is now earning Rs 10,000 less as against the previous company’s remuneration. “Every year, during Diwali, Independence Day or Christmas, thousands of jobs are generated especially by e-commerce, fintech and retail companies. However, they hardly retain employees, which is a concern, and I am preparing for another job interview,” he said.

READ | Safety, burnout, job stability key concerns of Indian employees during COVID: Report 

Likewise, Kolkata’s Gopal Ram recently got a job in Amazon, months after he lost his position as a Swiggy delivery boy during the pandemic. Being the sole earner in a family of six, Gopal faced the most challenging times during the prolonged five to six months of lockdown, and this job has brought some respite. However, the fear of losing job plays on his mind all the time.

According to a report by the employee management firm Betterplace, around 14 lakh jobs will be created in 2020 for blue-collar workers, adding that 80 per cent of the overall demand comes from the gig economy. Job search website Indeed in its recent report mentioned that there was an increase in the contract or temporary jobs posting by 119 per cent following the pandemic.

READ | COVID effect: How appraisals are changing within organisations 

Both Amazon India and Flipkart have generated around one lakh jobs. Amazon India said in a release that they will continue to create thousands of additional opportunities across the network to support customer demand across the country this upcoming festive season. However, the companies are skeptical about the permanency of the positions, saying, “The jobs are contractual in nature, and the growth of the employees will depend on the basis of their work.”

Neeti Sharma, senior vice-president at staffing firm TeamLease Services, said, “The vacancies being created are short term, and like every year during the festive season, the employees are hired on three, six and nine months of contracts. Also, the uptick in hiring will change following the festive rush from February.” The recruitment is not only restricted to certain sectors but from retail to manufacturing, banking, every sector witnessed a positive hiring spree due to normalisation, said Sharma.

OPINION | Post-Covid, lack of social security has made many migrants consider employment opportunities closer home

Also, as the companies are looking for skilled staff, the experienced people who had lost their job in a pandemic are preferred. “Around 20 per cent of the retrenched employees got a call from their own employer, while 50 per cent of the experienced people landed with a job in other companies. Most of them are getting a low pay scale or same, but some received a good hike,” said the Senior Vice President, TeamLease Services.

The recently launched QJobs witnessed a surge in registration among job seekers considering the festive rush. In a reply to, it stated, “It’s not the festive hype, but moreover it’s the effect of the reviving business following the unlocking process. Also, the certain boom in the gig economy in a few sectors might not be long-lasting, as the companies are hiring due to demand which will hardly stay for long.”

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Nivedita Sharma got a 50 per cent hike during the retrenchment period for her role in the new company- Opinion of You and I (OPOYI). “Fortunately I got the best workplace so far with a better salary. The flexi job is so far the best among the companies I have worked for.”

It’s not the blue, pink or grey-collar workers who are badly hit, the pandemic has wiped out all employment gains made in the white-collar space. Suresh Seth who was a manager before with Blue Dart Express for 15 years lost his job in the COVID-19 period. Suresh presently got a job at First Flight Couriers, but is contractual in nature. “After 15 years, a job loss makes the family unstable, and the new job contractual in nature is not healing the pain, as always in fear of bad news.”

The data by Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) revealed that the white-collar employment for May-August was at 12.2 million, the lowest since 2016. The data further stated that the year on year (YoY) job losses were at 6.6 million for white-collar workers, while workers associated with the industry were the next hardest hit losing 5 million jobs.

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Gig Based Business Market Importance, Latest Trends, Regional Forecast 2021 to 2025| TaskRabbit, Guru, Rover – NY Market Reports




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Gig companies prepare to take their fight for independent work national under a more sceptical Biden administration




Still fresh off of a landmark victory in California, companies like DoorDash, Instacart, Lyft and Uber are preparing to bring their message supporting an independent workforce nationwide.

But the companies will face new hurdles in passing similar legislation outside of California. The tradition of direct democracy through ballot measures that exists in the state is less common elsewhere, meaning companies will have to win over lawmakers, not just voters. And in Washington, they will have to face a new federal administration led by a president who openly opposed the California proposition while on the campaign trail.

Nearly 59% of California voters voted yes on Proposition 22, the ballot initiative supported by the gig companies to maintain their workers’ status as independent contractors, rather than employees. The measure would save the companies costly expenses that come with an employed workforce, but it would also require them to provide some new protections for app-based ridesharing and food delivery workers. Those would include benefits they could carry between apps and guaranteed minimum earnings.

The proposition essentially undermined a California law known as AB5 that took effect in early 2020. AB5 targeted the gig companies by establishing a three-part test to determine if workers should be classified as employees.

Prior to Election Day last year, Uber and Lyft were still fighting a lawsuit from the California state attorney general in court that claimed the companies illegally maintained their workers as independent contractors under the new law. A judge had granted a preliminary injunction requiring the companies to reclassify their workers, determining that the state had a good chance of prevailing on the merits.

The passage of Prop 22 seems to have reversed the fates of Uber and Lyft in California and reinvigorated the fight for their business models across the country. The gig companies point to the relatively high level of support California voters showed for their ballot measure as a reason why lawmakers in other states should see that the independent model is supported by their constituents.

But state lawmakers working on bills to protect gig workers in places like Illinois, Massachusetts and New York told CNBC that the outcome in California does not necessarily portend the future in their own states.

Source:, Twiter

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Gig companies prepare to take their fight for independent work national under a more sceptical Biden administration

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In pandemic, business owners seek next gig | National




Willen bakes for his two dogs, Cooper and Maple — which gave him the idea for Cooper’s Treats. He sells the treats on his website and Amazon.

“It’s looking like a real business,” he says.

Kathryn Valentine closed her consulting business last summer because she had lost her child-care options. Valentine’s nanny quit to take care of her own children, and daycare centers were closed. With a baby and a toddler, the Atlanta-based mother couldn’t work the 9-to-5 schedule followed by the apparel companies that were her clients. She had to come up with another line of work — and quickly.

She already was an expert in training women in negotiating, a skill necessary for career success. Valentine had researched the subject in business school, so she founded Worthmore Negotiations and began lining up corporate clients.

“About once a week I’ll have a commitment during the day, but otherwise all my work gets done after 7 p.m.,” she says. But Valentine hopes to revive her consulting business once the pandemic is over and she has child-care again. Her hope is to keep both businesses.

A series of lockdowns in Britain forced Steve West to close his acupuncture practice. With no money coming in, he returned to digital marketing, work that helped him get through a slowdown in his practice during the Great Recession. He’s not sure when, or if, he’ll return to acupuncture, given people’s uncertainty about close contact.

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