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A million-plus people joined the formal workforce for the fourth consecutive month in July, according to the latest payroll data released by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) on Tuesday.
New EPF subscribers in July, however, declined sequentially by 4.5 per cent to 10,58,397. Still, women's enrolment in the workforce was recorded at 291,524 or 27.54 per cent of total new subscribers -- the highest in the past 12 months.
Of the new EPF subscribers added in July, 610,613 subscribers were in the 18-25 age group, down from the 626,520 subscribers in June. This is crucial as subscribers in the 18-25 age group are seen as first-timers in the labour market, reflecting the robustness of the job market.
The net payroll addition, which is calculated while taking into account the new additions, the number of exits, and the return of old subscribers, was pegged at 1,823,341 in the month under review, up from 1,613,902 in June.
The number of subscribers that left the EPF scheme in July sharply declined to 407,005, from 7,78,908 in June. Of the 1,823,341 net subscribers in July, 1,417,261 subscribers are male and 4,06,080 were female.
The monthly payroll numbers are provisional in nature and they fluctuate.
But the new EPF subscribers figure is accepted with a greater degree than net additions as the latter fluctuates more.
The monthly data release is part of the government’s effort to track formal sector employment by using payrolls.
The EPF is a mandatory savings scheme under the Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952. It is managed under the aegis EPFO and covers every establishment in which 20 or more people are employed and certain other establishments which may be notified by the Central government even if they employ less than 20 people each, subject to certain conditions and exemptions as provided for in the Act. The pay ceiling is Rs 15,000 per month. Persons drawing pay above Rs 15,000 are exempted or can be enrolled with some permission or on a voluntary basis. The number of members subscribing to this scheme gives an idea of the level of employment in the formal sector.
Since April 2018, the National Statistical Office (NSO) has been bringing out employment-related statistics in the formal sector, covering the period from September 2017 onwards, using the information on the number of subscribers who have subscribed under three major schemes, namely the EPF Scheme, the Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) Scheme, and the National Pension Scheme (NPS).
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First Published: Tue, September 20 2022. 20:40 IST