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Jakarta Post

The disparity of gig economy and rural-urban poverty

  • Namira Samir

    London

PREMIUM
London   /   Tue, September 15 2020   /  01:00 am
Poverty trap: Women from Golomedi village in East Manggarai regency in East Nusa Tenggara carry firewood on their way back home on April 30. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased poverty rates, but the health crisis has hit rural areas harder than urban areas. (JP/Markus Makur)

“We know what can end poverty. But how come poverty never diminish?” – was the reply I received from my friend, Harry, who works as a gig worker in a city in Scotland when we were discussing about poverty. The reason I specify his identity is because it is significant to what I am about to elaborate. Indonesia’s rural poverty has always been higher than urban poverty. In September 2019, urban and rural poverty hit 9.86 million and 14.93 million, respectively. But when the pandemic struck, it has plunged more households into poverty. As of March 2020, urban and rural poverty were 11.16 million and 15.26 million, respectively. The spike in rural poverty was not as high as urban poverty. Does this mean the urban communities are more prone to external shocks? Maybe. But we should dig deeper, deeper, and deeper. Based on Statistics Indonesia (BPS) database, th...