An average gig worker in the country earns a little less than an average salaried urban male. This is according to the analysis of GigPulse, a report by LEAD at Krea University and Karma Life, and the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation’s Periodic Labour Force Survey Annual Report for FY22.

GigPulse, which was released earlier this month shows that the mean salary of a gig worker in the country is ₹18,611. On the other hand, a salaried urban male earned somewhere between ₹21,500 and ₹22,800 in FY22 on average. A salaried rural male, on the other hand, on average earned between ₹16,000 and ₹16,500 in the same period.

Close to 40 per cent of the people surveyed for the report said that the gig worker was the primary earner. “One of the features that distinguish gig workers is the invariance in earnings across age and education levels,” notes the report, adding, “For traditional working segments, income increases with age till middle age, with an overall inverted U-shaped pattern over the course of the worker lifecycle, we do not observe this phenomenon.”

Low on savings

Recently, a survey by think tank the People Research on India’s Consumer Economy (PRICE) revealed that close to 70 per cent of Indian households saved money on banking instruments. However, this may not hold true for households, where a gig worker is the primary earner.

“A significant majority (66 per cent) of gig workers report never keeping money aside, while 8 per cent report aspiring to, but finding it challenging,” the report shows. Among the ones who saved any money, a quarter of them saved for their children’s education, while the other 25 per cent saved towards creating an emergency fund. Just about 8.8 per cent saved for retirement. While more than 80 per cent of them saved their money in a bank, a good number kept their money at home.

When it comes to personal insurance, 73 per cent do not have any. In that group, 40 per cent said that they couldn’t afford to buy one.