The precarity of Indonesia’s gig workers’ plight has been a highly discussed topic during the present global pandemic and even prior to the major economic disruption. This week’s chart illustrates Indonesia’s Gig workers as a percentage of the National Labour Force. The data is taken from Indonesia’s Annual Labour Force Report prepared by Statistics Indonesia (BPS) over the last 5 years and delineates the proportion of gig workers in Indonesia’s Primary, Secondary and Tertiary industries.
- In pre-pandemic times, advocates for workers in the gig economy have pointed out their significant contribution to Indonesia’s labor force, and the corollary needed to make their labour conditions more secure and equitable. In the chart, it can be seen how across all three major industry-groupings, gig workers make up at least a quarter of the labour force. Moreover, in the February 2020 report, there is a visible increase in the percentage of gig economy workers, and we can expect these numbers to rise in view of mass Covid-19 layoffs across Indonesia.
- In the current “New Normal”, numerous digital platforms have surfaced to service both consumers and the producers, or in this case workers. Platforms such as Grab and Gojek have all streamlined the process of entering the gig economy. However, these temporary jobs are often service oriented in nature and would largely serve only the tertiary-industry workers.
- For gig workers in the primary and secondary industries, who make up 32% and 28% of their industries’ labour force respectively, work is more often than not attained on less digitally sophisticated platforms such as word-of-mouth or primary job advertisement channels. They therefore do not stand to gain as much as their digitally savvy counterparts in the tertiary industry.
By Clarice Handoko