The following paper talks about the fast-growing industry of freelancing in COVID-19, and its effect on the national economy of Pakistan. Pakistan ranks 4th amongst the world’s fastest-growing freelance markets. The proclivity towards the freelance market is expected to increase even more in 2020 because of all the downsizing of the companies and the major changes in the job markets forever.
The world’s largest economies are still suffering and may continue to suffer. But the freelance market could be and has been contributing to the growth of the economies. Proper measures taken by the government could also encourage the young and old generations to join this industry, and contribute to the decrease in debts of the country.
Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, companies have been facing major issues. These issues are regarding the services they offer and the products they sell. Businesses are struggling. We are unsure if this global crisis is going to be even more threatening in the future. As the vaccination has not been developed yet. The companies need to make sure they are taking necessary measures to mitigate and adapt to the changes occurring due to the pandemic. If they fail to do so they might see bad times ahead even after this pandemic ends. This may result in losses for the companies and even losing their customers and employees, too.
Downsizing by some of the companies and how Economies are affected
We have seen companies laying off their employees and cutting off their workforce by even 20-25% from March to July. A Spanish daily newspaper claims that in the USA alone, The coronavirus crisis has cost some 36.5 million American jobs in two months (May and June) with experts warning that figures could peak above the Great Depression in 1933.
The Chinese economy has been the only economy since the outbreak of Covid-19, which managed to grow at 3.2%. Other economies are still suffering. And God knows till when they will continue to suffer. The world is changing fast. To keep up with their pace and mitigate these changes, organizations are restructuring and reforming their workforce environment. Instead of hiring at full-time jobs, what companies are doing is, they are hiring freelancers on a contract basis. This is saving them costs and resulting in the growth of the “freelance industry” and ultimately it’s contributing to the National economy.
Most popular jobs in a freelance lance industry
A freelancer is someone self-employed or hired to work for different companies on particular assignments. Some of the most popular jobs would include:
- Content Writing
- Web development and app development
- Teaching and Tutoring
- Freelance Writing and CopywritingGraphic Designing
- 3D Modeling and CAD
- Legal Services
A hirer pays based on the services the employee offers and the skills he has. The freelance industry, for Pakistan, is a major revenue-generating industry. Pakistan stands among the top 5 freelancer markets. This could go in favour of Nation Economy of Pakistan.
The present situation of the National Economy
According to one article by dawn.com, Pakistan has suffered Rs 2.5 trillion loss Pakistan has suffered Rs2.5tr loss because of Covid-19. There is a need for the recovery of these losses. And it could only be possible if the government and organization take measures. One of the ways to recover from the losses would be to promote the freelance market. The government is investing in this industry and encouraging citizens through platforms like Digiskills and PITB. In monetary terms, by 2019, Pakistan was earning approximately Rs 80 billion entirely from freelancing. The numbers will surely increase in 2020.
People’s interest seems to increase towards this industry. One of my friends is a freelancer. He had started a group on Facebook in 2018 where members would discuss anything related to the freelance market. He was able to gain only 19.7K followers by the start of 2020. But by the mid of 2020, he was able to gain 40K followers and that too only in 7 months. More and more people are being attracted to it. The remote workforce has become the new norm in modern history.
Challenges related to online payment problems
Freelancing is not about good things only. I know people who quit this industry because of the payment scam and online fraud due to ineffective online payment systems. Paypal supports online money transfer which operates in 190 countries but doesn’t operate in Pakistan. Ex finance minister Asad Umer tried to introduce it in Pakistan but could not succeed. The government needs to play a key role in it and take measures to bring Paypal in Pakistan.
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