Precarious Work, Globalization and Informalization of Workforce: Empirical Evidence from India

  • Rahul Suresh Sapkal
  • Nilamber Chhetri


Employment relations across the world are going through a significant transformation after the inducement of economic reforms in many developed and developing countries. In India, significant changes are taking place in the labour market, viz. expansion of platform economy, development of global value chains and embedded labour processes, declining share of labour share in the production processes and replacing standard regular jobs with precarious ones. The most significant of these changes is the rise of precarious workers. In this chapter, we examine the nature of and trends in precarious employment, using data from the three rounds of Employment and Unemployment Survey of the National Sample Survey Organization. We argue in this chapter that quality of job and informal employment are intertwining and complex subjects; hence, there is a need to rely on ‘multiple job quality indicators’ instead of relying on binary proxies, which implicitly assume that all informal jobs are bad jobs and all formal jobs are good jobs. To address the complexity of this issue, we propose a new conceptual framework to distinguish workers into two broad types—formal and informal—based on various dimensions of work-related insecurities. We measure the quality of jobs in terms of high-intensity precarious jobs and low-intensity precarious jobs using a Cluster Analysis. Our results show that work-related security is a serious concern and exposing workers to various forms of market risk and adversities.


Precarious work Work intensity Informal labour India 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rahul Suresh Sapkal
    • 1
  • Nilamber Chhetri
    • 2
  1. 1.Assistant Professor, Department of EconomicsMaharashtra National Law UniversityMumbaiIndia
  2. 2.Assistant ProfessorMaharashtra National Law UniversityMumbaiIndia

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