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New formal job creation at 4-month high in April, shows EPFO data

Of the new subscribers, the share of women saw a marginal increase to 225,395 (26.6 per cent) in April from 190,630 (25.1 per cent) in March

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Shiva Rajora New Delhi

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Labour markets recovered sharply with the turn of the fiscal year as fresh formal job creation hit a four-month high in April, according to the latest payroll data released by the Employee Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) on Tuesday.

Earlier, the formal job creation witnessed sequential decline for four consecutive months. The number of new monthly subscribers under the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) increased by 11.8 per cent to 846,918 in April from 757,792 in March. In December 2022, 859,966 new subscribers had subscribed to it. 

Of the new subscribers, the share of women saw a marginal increase to 225,395 (26.6 per cent) in April from 190,630 (25.1 per cent) in March.

However, the share of young subscribers (18-28 age group) among the new additions declined to 549,430 (64.9 per cent) in April from 508,690 (67.1 per cent) in March. This is crucial because subscribers in the 18-28 age group are usually first-timers in the labour market, and this metric reflects its robustness.

The net payroll addition, which is calculated taking into account the number of new subscribers, the number of exits, and the return of old subscribers, however, increased by 28.3 per cent to 1.71 million in April from 1.34 million in March.

However, the net monthly payroll numbers are provisional in nature and often revised sharply the following month. That is why the new EPF subscriber figure has greater certitude than net additions.

Rituparna Chakraborty, co-founder of TeamLease Services, said with the turn of a new fiscal year, firms usually prepare a holistic view of their workforce requirements, which creates new hirings. “Going forward, the hiring momentum generated in the first month [of fiscal year] is expected to continue in the short-medium term,” she said.

Besides, the data released by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), which conducts its own surveys, showed that the unemployment rate increased in April to 8.11 per cent from 7.8 per cent in March, as there was a significant rise in the labour force participation rate (LFPR) to 41.98 per cent in April from 39.77 per cent in March, which resulted in the ballooning of labour force by 25.5 million to 467.6 million in April. 

“This is the highest LFPR recorded in the past three years. This jump in the number of people who entered the labour force points at a possible increase in optimism about finding employment. A large proportion of the people who joined the labour force in this month were also able to find jobs, with most of the jobs being added in rural India,” it said in a statement.

The monthly data released by the EPFO is part of the government’s effort to track formal-sector employment by using payrolls as an instrument. Since April 2018, the National Statistical Office has been bringing out employment-related statistics in the formal sector, covering the period September 2017 onwards, using information on the number of subscribers under three major schemes, namely the Employees’ Provident Fund Scheme, Employees’ State Insurance Scheme, and the National Pension System.

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First Published: Jun 20 2023 | 8:47 PM IST

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