Working in the gig economy

5 types of gig economy workers

Being a GrabFood delivery rider lets Madam Afidah Amat structure work around ferrying her children to and from school.
Being a GrabFood delivery rider lets Madam Afidah Amat structure work around ferrying her children to and from school.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
For food delivery rider Zane Chiang, what started as an interim job has ended up being a full-time job for the last three years.
For food delivery rider Zane Chiang, what started as an interim job has ended up being a full-time job for the last three years.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

To supplement its online survey, Insight spoke to 50 food delivery riders and ride-hailing drivers to understand their socio-economic profile and why they joined the gig economy. The interviews, conducted in Bedok, Choa Chu Kang, Jurong East, Tampines and Yishun over two days, found that these workers fall into five common groups. Half are doing such jobs as an interim measure after leaving or losing their former jobs, or to earn extra cash, while a fifth are individuals from vulnerable backgrounds, such as single mothers and former offenders. A similar proportion are sole breadwinners. Four in 10 are not able to set aside savings from their monthly income, while half of the 35 full-time workers interviewed say they are earning less from their gig jobs than in their previous jobs.

After being released from prison for criminal breach of trust offences in 2016, Mr Raymond Chia, 48, a former restaurant manager, found it difficult to land a full-time job.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 17, 2019, with the headline '5 types of gig economy workers'. Print Edition | Subscribe