The demand for frontline workers decreased in the current fiscal year. Reportedly, after witnessing a boom in demand in FY22 as the economy opened up, frontline workers in the period 2022-23 seemed to lose popularity owing to macroeconomic challenges, revealed the Frontline Index report by BetterPlace.
The report by the workforce management firm noted that demand for frontline jobs dipped by 17.5 per cent. As compared to 8 million jobs created in India in 2021-22, the period 2022-23 reported 6.6 million jobs created in the segment, reported Business Standard.
The decline has mostly been attributed to global macroeconomic headwinds, the report noted. However, it added that gig-work has been increasing and more firms are looking to rework their workforce costs.
In FY22, the e-commerce sector emerged as the highest contributor to generating employment for frontline workers, but this number majorly reduced in the previous fiscal year. In FY23, the logistics and mobility sectors, along with the IFM and IT sectors generated more than 61 per cent of the total jobs created in the period. The report added that the e-commerce sector maintained it’s lead in employing the highest number of women frontline workers in the period. The sector contributed to 64 per cent of the total women workers employed during the period.
Explaining the decline, Pravin Agarwala, co-founder and group CEO at BetterPlace, said, “The frontline workforce ecosystem seems to be one of the most dynamic cohorts in India. They are the first ones to feel the impact of external economic environments. The macroeconomic headwinds have forced enterprises in India and Southeast Asia to rethink their hiring practices. We are seeing rising gigification of the workforce, which has led to improvement in the women participation ratio. This has created a need for tech solutions which can handle these fast-changing dynamics while at the same time improving productivity and retention.”
The report noted that demand generated for frontline workers by e-commerce sector reduced by 52 per cent since FY22, but the sector remained the second-largest employer with a 33 per cent share in the total jobs created.
Participation by women also doubled in ratio between FY22 and FY23, with the participation ratio increasing from 3 per cent in 2021-22 to 6 per cent in 2022-23. This increase was credited to the changing perception among families.
The survey found that about 88 per cent of women expressed that they received full or partial support from their families to join the workforce. Salary-wise, average monthly incomes for women workers in FY23 stood at 20.5 per cent lower than the industry average. Age-wise, the survey found that 44 per cent of women workers belonged to the 20-30 age category, while 37 per cent were placed in the 30-40 age category.
Youth comprises the largest proportion in the workforce at 66 per cent, but their participation is gradually declining, the report stated. Between FY22 and FY23, youth participation in the workforce decreased by 8 per cent, while participation by workers between 30-40 age group increased by 25 per cent in the period.
The average monthly salaries for the workers dipped marginally by 4.5 per cent and stood at Rs 21,700 in FY23. As a result of the government’s encouragement towards skilling, multiple firms invested in upskilling their workforce. This resulted in a record high of 36 per cent of new users on the firm’s platform, the company stated.
This survey is based on the data collected by the BetterPlace platform from April 2022 to March 2023. The data included a sample of over 3 million data points and intends to provide a comprehensive understanding of the hiring, demand, attrition, migration, salary, and upskilling trends in the frontline workers in the country, the report said.