Provisional payroll data from the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, released on Friday, the number of exits under EPFO stood at 0.28 million in February compared to 0.53 million in January which have been revised upwards from 0.26 million last month.
The data of formal job creation in February seems to have kept pace with the economic growth. However, there are apprehensions that the trend may reverse when the next month data is made public as the surge in Covid-19 cases from March onward have promoted multiple states to impose lockdown or enhance restrictions, thus impacting industrial activities.
So far, job creation schemes like the Atmanirbhar Bharat Rojgar Yojana , the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana and the Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana were launched by the government in last year to tide over the stress on the job market during the COVID -19 pandemic.
The net subscribers added under EPFO in December were 0.94 million, 0.69 million in November, 0.90 million in October and 1.23 million in September.
Net additions under ESIC stood at 1.23 million in December, 0.95 million in November, 1.21 million in October and 1.15 million in September. Average monthly addition under ESIC in 2019-20 stood at 1.2 million.
Maximum jobs, under both EPFO and ESIC, were created in the 22-25 year age bracket during the month, signalling a pick up in entry-level recruitments. Number of new subscribers in the 22-25 years age bracket under EPFO stood at 0.32 million while that in ESIC stood at 0.33 million.
Mospi has been bringing out the employment related statistics in the formal sector covering the period September 2017 onwards, using information on the number of subscribers who have subscribed under three major schemes, namely the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) Scheme, the Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) Scheme and the National Pension Scheme (NPS).
With the imposition of lockdown in the last week of March 2020, the net enrolments in EPFO fell to 0.572 million in March 2020 from 1.02 million in February. During 2019-20, the number of net new subscribers rose to 7.85 million as compared to 6.11 million in the preceding fiscal. Even ESIC saw its net addition falling to a dismal low of 0.263 million in April after which it started picking up and touched a high of 1.19 million in October 2020.
While EPF is applicable to establishments having more than 20 workers earning wages up to Rs 15,000 a month, ESIC applies to firms and establishments with 10 or more employees with wages up to Rs 21,000 a month.