Urban Informal Sector Workers during the Covid- 19 Pandemic in Indonesia: Social Networking as a Strategy for Business Sustainability

  • Sri Sunarti Purwaningsih Research Center for Population, National Research and Innovation Agency, Indonesia
  • Haning Romdiati Research Center for Population, National Research and Innovation Agency, Indonesia
  • Ade Latifa Research Center for Population, National Research and Innovation Agency, Indonesia
Keywords: urban informal, workers, social networking, business sustainability


Around 60,5% of workers in Indonesia rely on the informal sector, and in mid of 2020 almost half of them were in urban areas. The urban informal sector workers commonly are in small enterprises with low productivity, low liquidity, and negligible capital accumulation. They engage in street vending, home-based work, waste picking, domestic jobs, and other short-term contracts, and they do not enjoy workers’ benefis and social protection programs, thus they are vulnerable to shock, including Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic does not only bring negative impact on the health sector, but it has also triggered an economic downturn. In terms of urban informal sector activities, various social policies (PSBB, Java-Bali PPKM, Emergency PPKM and Micro PPKM) sharply reduce the economic opportunities for informal economy workers who rely to a large extent on the personal contact with customers. Job losses and decreased income have been experienced by the majority of informal sector workers. This condition has to be overcome with various strategies to be able to maintain the continuity of their economic activities. This article discusses the strategies of urban informal sector workers to maintain sustainable livelihoods during the COVID-19 pandemic. The strategy carried out is focused on the use of social networks. The data used for writing this article is sourced from primary data. Data was collected using a qualitative approach in Bekasi Timur sub-district, Bekasi City, West Java Province. In addition, the article also uses the existing data related to the issued being studied.


Download data is not yet available.


Bajardi, P., Polleto, C., Ramasco, J. J., Tizzoni, M., Colizza, V., dan Vispignani, A. 2011. “Human Mobility Networks, Travel Restrictions, and the Global Spread of 2009

H1N1 Pandemic”. PLos ONE. Vol 6(1): 1-8. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal. pone.0016591

B. M. Bandgar. 2014. “Social Network In Recent Era”. International Journal Of Research In Computer Science And Management Vol. 1(1), January 2014 (ISSN: 2321-8088), page 22-26.

Charu, V., Zeger, S., Gog, J., Bjørnstad, O. N., Kissler, S., Simonsen, L., Grenfell, B. T., dan Viboud, C. 2017. “Human mobility and the spatial transmission of inflenza in the united states”. PLoS Computational Biology. Vol.13 (2): 1-23. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/ journal.pcbi.1005382

Hikmawati, E. Sangadji, dan R.R.M. Utami. 2020. Impact Analysis of the Large-Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB) Policy Implementation in Jakarta. Journal of Indonesia Health Policy and Administration. Vol 5(2): 57-60

Hussmanns, R. 2004. Statistical defiition of informal employment: Guidelines endorsed by the Seventeenth International Conference of Labour Statisticians (2003). 7th Meeting of the Expert Group on Informal Sector Statistics (Delhi Group) New Delhi, 2-4 February2004. Available at https://ilo.org/public/english/bureau/stat/download/papers/def.pdf. Accessed on March 4, 2022.

International Labour Organisation (ILO). 2020a. ILO Monitor: COVID-19 and the world of work. Third edition, Updated estimates and analysis. Available at https://www.ilo.org/ wcmsp5/groups/public/---dgreports/---dcomm/documents/briefignote/wcms_743146. pdf. Accessed on February 17, 2021

International Labour Organisation (ILO). 2020b. Impact of Lockdown Measures on the Informal Economy A Summary. May 2020 Factsheet. Geneva, Switzerland: ILO.

Pitoyo, J.P., B. Aditya; I. Amri, and A.A. Rokhim. 2021. Impacts and Strategies Behind COVID 19 Induced Economic Crisis: Evidence from Informal Economy. The Indian Journal of Labour Economics 64: (641–661). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s41027-021-00333-x

Pitoyo, J.P., Bagas Aditya; I. Amri. 2020. The Impact of Covid-19 Pandemic to Informa; Economic Sector in Indonesia. Theory and Empirical Comparison. E3SWeb of Conference 200. 0314 (2020). ICST. http://doi.org/10.1051/e3seconf/202020003014

Rahman, M.A. A.Z.D. Kusuma, dan H. Arfyanto. 2020. “Situasi ketenagakerjaan di lapangan usaha yang terdampak pandemi COVID-19”. Cattan Isu SMERU, No I, Juni 2020. Available at https://www.smeru.or.id/sites/default/fies/publication/ib01_naker_id_0. pdf. Accessed on February16, 2021.

Schwettmann, J. 2020. Covid-19 and the informal economy: Impact and respon strategy in Sub-Saharian Africa. Available at https://library.fes.de/pdf-fies/iez/16414.pdf. Accessed on Febryary 17, 2022.

Sulistiani, L.S. 2021. Dampak era new normal terhadap sektor informal. Journal Publicuho. Vol 4 (2): 248-258. http://ojs.uho.ac.id/index.php/PUBLICUHO/index. Accesses on March 5, 2022

Sumalatha, B.S, Lekha D. Bhat and K. P. Chitra, Impact of Covid-19 on Informal Sector: A Study of Women Domestic Workers in India. The Indian Economic Journal 69(3) 441– 461, 2021. Indian Economic Association

Tawab, G.A. 2017. Informal is the new normal: Why informal employment is here to stay. Available at https://www.fordfoundation.org/news-and-stories/stories/posts/informalis-the-new-normal-why-informal-employment-is-here-to-stay/. Accessed on March 4,2022

Wang, Q. dan Taylor, J. E. 2016. “Patterns and limitations of urban human mobility resilience under the inflence of multiple types of natural disaster”. PLoS ONE. Vol 11 (1): 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0147299

Webb, A; R. McQuaid, dan S. Rand. 2020. “Employment in the informal economy: implicatios of the COVID-19 pandemic”. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy. DOI 10.1108/IJSSP-08-2020-0371

World Health Organization. 2020. COVID-19 Strategy Update. Tersedia pada https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/covid-strategy-update-14april2020.pdf. Accessed on May 20, 2020.

How to Cite
Purwaningsih, S., Romdiati, H., & Latifa, A. (2022). Urban Informal Sector Workers during the Covid- 19 Pandemic in Indonesia: Social Networking as a Strategy for Business Sustainability. International Journal of Interreligious and Intercultural Studies, 5(1), 37-52. https://doi.org/10.32795/ijiis.vol5.iss1.2022.2848