With the economy limping back to normalcy, there is a likelihood of over 50 per cent increase in the demand for blue-collar workers across Maharashtra, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, with Maharashtra contributing the maximum, that is 17 per cent of the demand.
If the third annual report from BetterPlace, the technology platform for blue-collar workforce management, is to be believed, about seven million blue-collar jobs are likely to be created in 2021. Unlike what people think, the second wave did not affect jobs as much as the first wave did. Migration of workers between states actually came down. In fact, there has been observed a permanent shift in the migration patterns in the driving and delivery segments. There is a strong trend towards digitalisation and the gig economy is on the rise.
The annual blue-collar report, which also covers major trends in employment, is based on data from the first six months of 2021 and spans hiring trends and projections across over 1,500 customers, 10 million employees and 20,000 pin codes.
Pravin Agarwala, CEO, BetterPlace, said: “Since the onset of the pandemic, the country has witnessed a steep fall in employment. The worst hit was the blue-collar workforce, which struggled to retain jobs or secure opportunities. The BetterPlace Blue-Collar Report 2021 shows that the impact of the second wave of COVID-19 on jobs was not as severe as the first with the overall job demand rising marginally. In time, the demand is likely to reach pre-COVID levels, which was 104% of 2019.”
The Report reveals that during the second wave, drivers, facility workers, security personnel and other similar segments were badly impacted, shrinking by 40, 25 and 40 per cent respectively, during the second wave. Meanwhile, the delivery segment grew 175% quarter-on-quarter, and hiring in the logistics, healthcare, e-commerce and retail sectors is also witnessing a pick-up. “If there is a third wave, the transportation, facility workers, security and retail segments will be negatively impacted by as much as 25 to 50 per cent. We don’t expect any impact on the delivery segment,” says Agarwala.
Technological advancements are also taking place rapidly across the blue-collar value chain via digitalisation and machine learning, with the sector receiving more than $100 million in funding over the past 12 months.
Mobile and internet penetration has been on the rise, due to which blue-collar workers are adopting digital tools to find suitable employment, matching with their skills and preferred locations.