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Demand for frontline jobs decreased by 17.5% in FY23, shows data

The drop can largely be attributed to global macroeconomic headwinds

Photo: Freepik

Photo: Freepik

BS Reporter Mumbai

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Having seen a rapid growth in demand for frontline workers in FY22 with the economy opening up, the growth seems to have muted in FY23 due to macroeconomic challenges.

According to BetterPlace’s Frontline Index Report, total demand for frontline jobs decreased by 17.5 per cent. In FY23, 6.6 million frontline jobs were created in India as compared to 8 million in FY22.

The drop can largely be attributed to global macroeconomic headwinds.

However, gig-work is seen to be on the rise as more and more enterprises are looking to variablise their workforce costs, said the report.

E-commerce was the highest contributor to frontline worker employment in FY22 but has reduced significantly in FY23.

The dominance of the e-commerce sector has been replaced by the logistics & mobility and IFM & IT sector which together contribute to more than 61 per cent of the new jobs created.

However, e-commerce continues to be the highest employer of women frontline workers in FY23, contributing to 64 per cent of the total women workers employed.

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.''

While demand created by e-commerce has fallen by 52 per cent since last year, it is still the second-largest employer, contributing to 33 per cent of the total jobs.

Women participation ratio in the workforce doubled between FY22 and FY23. Women participation ratio has increased from 3 per cent to 6 per cent between FY22 and FY23. This is largely due to the changing perception among families.

According to the surveys, 88 per cent of women felt fully or somewhat supported by their families to join the workforce. However, the average monthly salaries for women frontline workers in FY23 was 20.5 per cent lower than the industry average. The gap between youths and older cohorts is smaller for women frontline workers, with 44 per cent of them belonging to the 20-30 age category and 37 per cent belonging to the 30-40 age category.

Youth contributed the largest to frontline jobs at 66% but their participation is slowly decreasing.

The survey said that the participation of youth in the workforce declined by 8 per cent between FY22 and FY23, while participation of workers between 30-40 increased by 25 per cent in the same period. More than 80 per cent of the frontline workers are adequately educated, having completed either their graduation of high school diploma

Average monthly salaries for frontline workers decreased marginally by 4.5 per cent to reach ~21,700 in FY23

Sign-ups for upskilling courses grew by a whopping 194% between FY22 and FY23. With the lower intent to hire, enterprises are training their existing workers to take on larger roles. The time spent on learning has increased by more than 165 per cent between April 2022 and March 2023, the report revealed.

The government's push towards skilling during the budget resulted in multiple enterprises investing in skilling their employees. This resulted in a peak of 36 per cent in new users on our platform between January and February 2023.

This report is based on the data collected by the BetterPlace platform from April 2022 to March 2023. A sample of more than 3 million data points was used for the analysis and inferences. The data provides a detailed view of the hiring, demand, attrition, migration, salary and upskilling trends among the frontline workforce of India.

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First Published: Sep 25 2023 | 8:10 AM IST

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