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American tech firm Edge has boosted the minimum salary of its Pakistan-based remote employees to Rs. 200,000 (about US$1,000) a month, a 150% increase. The firm's 190 employees work from home for the firm headquartered in Sacramento, California . “We are aware of the global economic downturn and its impact on our people, especially in Pakistan. More than ever, we understand our responsibility towards our people and the need to invest in them,” said its Pakistani-American Founder and CEO Iffi Wahla. “I sincerely hope this decision starts a momentum for wage increases in the country. Our mission is to democratize fair wages and access to work across the globe.”
Edge was founded in 2020 and operates in the insurance, health, and retail sectors. It provides global remote employees to North American companies. A total of 320 employees are a part of the company which has offices in the United States, Pakistan, and Peru. Edge plans to expand to seven more countries by the end of this year and 150 countries by 2024.
Salaries of Pakistanis hired for remote work by foreign employers are among the world's fastest rising, according to the "State of Global Hiring Report 2021" produced by San Francisco based Deel. The company provides employment and payroll services for companies hiring international employees and contractors online. Hiring for work from remote locations has taken off since the start of the COVID19 pandemic. The pandemic and recent advances in communications technology are helping globalize the labor market for talent, creating new opportunities for people in developing nations to work remotely at higher wages for global companies.
|Rising Salaries of Global Hires. Source: Deel|
Salaries rose the fastest for international online hires in Mexico (57%), followed by Canada (38%), Pakistan (27%), and Argentina (21%). Salaries for global hires from India rose 8%, Philippines 7% and Russia 4%. Philippines, India and Pakistan are the top three countries in Asia Pacific region where people were hired through Deel.
|Top 3 Source Countries of Employees. Source: Deel|
Deel report did not disclose the exact salaries paid in Pakistan after the 27% pay hike. However, a global survey conducted by Payoneer in 2019, showed that Pakistani women freelancers were earning $22 an hour, 10% more than the $20 an hour earned by men. While Pakistani male freelancers earnings are at par with global average, Pakistani female earnings are higher than the global average for freelancers. Digital gig economy is not only helping women earn more than men but it is also reducing barriers to women's labor force participation in the country. The survey also concludes that having a university degree does not help you earn more in the growing gig economy. The survey was conducted in 2015.
|Freelancers Hourly Rate by Gender. Source: Payoneer|
An average Pakistani freelancer working 34 hours a week at $20 an hour earns $34,000 a year, or nearly 6 million Pakistani rupees a year, a small fortune for a young Pakistani. This is one of the upsides of the online global labor marketplace for skilled young men and women in developing nations like Pakistan. Sometimes freelancing experience leads to tech startups in Pakistan. Year 2021 was a banner year for tech startups in Pakistan.