Part-time jobs can rejuvenate our economy
As against the conventional wisdom of building a service career as a permanent employee, corporates are increasingly rolling out part time jobs and the employees are only too happy to lap it up. It’s developing into a trend that is evolving at the speed of light speed which is benefitting both employers and employees. The informal workers in the organised companies have risen from a moderate 32 per cent in 2000 to a most expansive 68 per cent in 2010. The figure of part-time workers’ growth in 2009 was over 10 per cent and in 2010 the figure settled at 18 per cent! It shows the lucre that goes with the proposition of temporary jobs, a trend that is ever rising in most of the developing countries, according to the World Development Report, a publication wing of World Bank.
It can be deciphered generically that at least a sizeable proportion of these part time jobs have a reasonably high productivity. And as it happens, it augurs economic efficiency for an economy. Taking up part-time jobs had been common place phenomena in the developed economies and that’s exactly what is brewing quickly in India. The labour reallocation is particularly easy in temporary jobs as it is not confined by the labour regulations, which applies to permanent jobs, and in spite of series of reforms organised jobs are still mired by strict labour guidelines that hinder our economic growth path. Th us the part-time jobs encourage labour flexibility as well as breeds new entrepreneurship that increase the growth and development, a prerequisite to sustain a rise of 7 million working people every year. The part time job spree is also facilitating startups and entrepreneurship. This in turn portends confidence in the country’s future as a high growth economy. Even housewives, who probably were skilled but had to quit jobs for family commitments are earning a handful through the temporary jobs.
The part-time jobs’ credo provides an answer to the unsettling poverty and unemployment through rapid urbanisation in which there is better chance in poverty reduction. The urbanisation actually hasn’t taken off in India in last two decades. In fact India was at par with China in 1990 with 27 per cent of its population living in urban centres but India with its slothful infrastructure and labour laws’ deficiencies have choked the urbanisation growth. The rise in temporary jobs are in a way a policy backlash to faulty labour policies that have pushed the employers towards unorganised jobs more for their firms.
However, part-time jobs are still in low skill-requirement areas. The chance of getting a part time job depends on the industry segment. Teaching was one area where the availability of part time employment was high for a long time, but in recent years, increase of jobs in accounting, business development, pathological lab assistants, data entry operation and many more have shown enough promise for even qualified personnel opting for them. It’s in fact a win-win situation where the employers benefits on cost variability as well as flexibility in their staffing, while the employees can add up to their income without committing a whole time to their company. It has been a big employment generator and very strong anti-poverty measure that needs to pick up more, like in the West, with a shift of attitude that tends to look down upon the part-time jobs. For that, government should take initiative to encourage the trend more so that many in the poverty cycle can break it and come up to overcome scrimp on pay for a decent living.