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Indonesia's Booming Gig Economy Means Big Tradeoffs for Workers

  • As number of underemployed grows, consumer spending stagnates
  • Part-time work is a crucial life-line for unskilled laborers
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The gig conomy is booming. Almost a quarter of the workforce hold part-time jobs, but it comes with big tradeoffs(Source: Bloomberg)
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Heru Sishandito isn’t your typical gig economy millennial. The former construction worker, 58, is a driver for Grab, a popular ride-hailing service, in Bandung, the provincial capital of West Java. He likes the flexibility, but is pulling in 40 percent less in pay. “In the construction company, there was certainty because I could get a fixed salary,” he said. “But as a Grab driver, it depends on me.”

Indonesia’s gig economy is booming, yet there’s a debate about whether that’s necessarily a good thing for a big chunk of the nation’s workforce or the overall economy in the long-run.