COVID-19 and self-employed

Government support packages to help workers endure the disruptions caused by COVID-19 are ostensibly generous but often discriminatory. In many countries, self-employed workers receive less support than salaried employees.

Self-employed; total (% of total employed) in India was reported at 76.28 % in 2019, according to the World Bank collection of development indicators, compiled from officially recognized sources. India - Self-employed; total (% of total employed) - actual values, historical data, forecasts and projections were sourced from the World Bank on July of 2020.

Self employed workers are those workers who; working on their own account or with one or a few partners or in cooperative; hold the type of jobs defined as a self-employment jobs (i.e. jobs where the remuneration is directly dependent upon the profits derived from the goods and services produced). Self employed workers include three subcategories: employers; own-account workers; and members of producers cooperatives.

Evidence of Indian labor market segmentation is widely available—with a small percentage of workers being employed formally, while the lion’s share of households relies on income from self-employment or precarious jobs without recourse to rights stipulated by labor regulations. Only about 10 percent of the workforce is formal with safe working conditions and social security. Perversely, modern-sector employment is becoming “informalized,” through outsourcing or hiring without direct contracts. The share of formal employment in the modern sector fell from 52 percent in 2005 to 45 percent in 2012.

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