Ride-Sharing Platforms Help Indonesia Reduce Unemployment: BPS

The Jakarta Globe – Jakarta. Indonesia’s unemployment rate has decreased significantly, the latest data from its Central Statistics Agency showed, thanks to tech companies like Uber and Go-Jek, which have poured billions of dollars into their ride-sharing platforms and attracted many Indonesians to join in as drivers — or partners as the companies prefer to call them.

BPS, the stats agency, announced that 7.03 million Indonesians remain unemployed out of a total of 124.4 million in the workforce, according to its August data. That is equivalent to an unemployment rate of 5.61 percent.

The figure is significantly lower than the 6.18 percent recorded in August last year, when 7.56 million people were identified as unemployed out of a total of 122.38 million in the country’s workforce.

An employed person, according to the BPS, is someone older than 15 years who works at least one hour per week. Indonesia’s workforce is everyone above 15 years old.

Indonesia’s current population is estimated at about 250 million, including children.

“We’ve seen a surge in people who work as motorcycle taxi drivers,” BPS head Suhariyanto said on Monday (07/11).

According to BPS data, about 5.6 million Indonesians now work in the transportation sector, up 500,000 from a year ago.

The BPS data did not distinguish between formal and informal workers. Formal sector workers are those who earn a fixed or regular monthly income. Informal sector workers have irregular income.

The BPS also did not provide any breakdown on labor data in the transportation sector, but Suhariyanto said the rise in employment rate in the sector correlates closely with the boom in business for app-based ride-sharing platforms such as Go-Jek, Grab and Uber.

Nevertheless, the bulk of Indonesia’s workforce still rely on jobs from the agriculture sector, which harbors about 37.8 million Indonesians.

The trade sector, which provides jobs to 26.69 million people, and business services, which provide jobs to 19.5 million, came in second and third as the most popular sectors for Indonesia’s workforce.

“We’ve also seen a surge of people finding new jobs in the trade sector, both online and offline,” Sukardi, the director for population and employment at BPS, told reporters.