Companies in India created about 6.6 million frontline jobs in the fiscal year ended March 2023, according to the Frontline Index Report 2023 from BetterPlace, a leading tech platform for frontline workforce management in the country.

The total demand for frontline jobs decreased by 17.5 per cent in FY23 to 6.6 million compared to 8.8 million in the year-ago period.

The logistics and mobility sector has replaced e-commerce as the highest employment industry for frontline workers in FY23. The total demand created by the sector increased by more than 111 per cent between FY22 and FY23, according to the report, which is based on the data collected by the platform from April 2022 to March 2023. A sample of more than 3 million data points was used for the survey.

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While, IFM&IT was the fastest-growing industry in terms of demand for frontline jobs, growing by a whopping 139 per cent between FY22 and FY23.

The growth seems to have muted in FY23 due to macroeconomic challenges after having seen a rapid growth in demand for frontline workers in FY22 with the economy opening up, as per the report.

“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, which resulted in a decline in demand for frontline workers this year,” said Pravin Agarwala, co-founder and Group CEO at BetterPlace.

“There are, however, some positive offshoots of this trend that strengthen the case for tech integration. 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,” he added.

However, women’s participation in the workforce doubled in the same period. Women’s participation ratio has increased to 6 per cent from 3 per cent between FY22 and FY23.

According to our surveys, 88% of women felt fully or somewhat supported by their families to join the workforce, which led to an increase in participation.

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Maharashtra, Karnataka, Haryana and Tamil Nadu have the highest supply of and demand for frontline workers in India. About 67 per cent of the total frontline workers belong to Karnataka, UP, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and West Bengal. Karnataka replaced Maharashtra to become the largest contributor of frontline workers in FY23, contributing more than 16 per cent of the total workforce

The report shows a marginal decrease in the average monthly salary of frontline workers - from ₹22,800 in FY22 to ₹21,700 in FY23. Integrated facility management (IFM) & IT sector offer the highest average monthly pay of ₹26,484, which was closely followed by BFSI and the logistics and mobility sector, offering salaries of ₹22,000 and ₹21,800 respectively.

Attrition remains a major pain point for enterprises, with industries experiencing an average monthly attrition of 15 per cent, with the peaks reaching 23 per cent during November, at the end of the festive season.

The largest employer of FY23, Logistics & Mobility, had the highest monthly attrition rate at 22 per cent, growing by 83 per cent as compared to FY22. This industry was followed by e-commerce and IFM&IT, which recorded an attrition rate of 19 per cent and 15 per cent respectively.

While youth contributed the largest to frontline jobs at 66 per cent but their participation is slowly decreasing, according to the report. The participation of youth in the workforce declined by 8% between FY22 and FY23, while the participation of workers between 30-40 increased by 25 per cent in the same period.