A total of 44.74 lakh jobs were created in the formal sector during September 2017–May 2018
Government data hints at India’s economy getting back on track. Around 7.43 lakh jobs were added in May, according to the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) data, based on payroll count.
A total of 44.74 lakh jobs were added in the formal economy during September–May, 2017–18, across age groups. Of these, 29.61 lakh or 66.1 per cent were created in the 18–25 age group.
EPFO is responsible for social security funds of workers in the organised and semi-organised sectors, with six crore members and active contributors.
The payroll count is ideally the difference between the number of workers who joined and exited from EPFO’s fold, and as such, is the net addition to jobs. Although the report offers a varied perspective on the levels of employment in the formal sector, it does not measure employment at a holistic level.
The data also showed that 5.68 lakh new subscribers were added in May–September under the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority’s National Pension Scheme. Out of these, 56,336 new members were added to the scheme in May.
Similarly, 12.75 lakh subscribers were added to the Employment State Insurance (ESIC) scheme during May. ESIC is an integrated social security plan designed to provide social protection to workers and their dependents, in the organised sector, in contingencies—such as sickness, maternity, and death or disablement due to an employment injury.
As far as EPFO data is concerned, excluding the 18–25 age group, additions in the higher age groups may also suggest a greater formalisation of the economy. The payroll database by EPFO covers firms employing over 20 workers, which are required to mandatorily make provident fund contributions at present.