Ms Hazel Poa asked the Minister for Manpower (a) how many gig workers are there currently in the workforce; (b) what industries are these individuals working in; (c) what are the average salaries of these individuals by industry; and (d) how many of these gig workers are classified as self-employed.
Mrs Josephine Teo: There is no internationally accepted definition of “gig workers”. In general, the term refers to own account workers or self-employed persons (SEPs) who operate their own business without hiring any employees1, and who source for a significant part of their work through online matching platforms.
In 2020, 190,900 residents were engaged primarily as SEPs for their livelihood. Over the past decade, such SEPs’ share of the workforce has remained stable at 8% to 10%. Among the 190,900, there were 73,500 who utilised online matching platforms, mostly working in the transportation of goods and passengers. Table 1 shows the breakdown of the top three occupations, namely private-hire car drivers, taxi drivers, and car and light goods vehicle drivers, and Table 2 reflects the corresponding median incomes.
In 2019, the median income for these three occupations was between $1,500 to $2,500. In 2020, SEPs’ income from work2 was impacted by COVID-19 pandemic to varying degrees. Many were eligible for support of up to $9,000 from the SEP Income Relief Scheme (SIRS), Workfare Special Payments of up to $3,000, as well as regular Workfare payouts amounting up to $2,667 in 20203, as well as the Point-To-Point Support Package, which comprises two components for taxi and PHC drivers:
(a) Special Relief Fund (SRF), to help full-time drivers defray business cost, and
(b) Government and NTUC Driver Care Fund for drivers who may not qualify for the SRF but still require financial assistance.
Source : Written Answers to Questions