Formal job creation continues to decline in November

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Formal job creation continued to decline in November with net job additions under both the Employees Provident Fund Organisation and Employees’ State Insurance Corporation below the preceding month, suggesting employment creation is not keeping pace with economic growth.

Provisional payroll data from the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, released on Monday, shows net new subscriber added under EPFO in November 2020 stood at 1.01 million compared to 1.05 in October and 1.33 in September. However, the figure was higher than the average monthly addition of 0.65 million in 2019-20.

Even ESIC saw a decline in net new additions in November at 0.93 million compared to 1.19 million added in October and 1.15 million added in September. Average monthly addition under ESIC in 2019-20 stood at 1.2 million.

However, the National Pension Scheme saw 54,482 new subscribers added to it in November, the second highest in the fiscal year so far. The highest addition under the scheme was in April 2020 at 64,647 while net addition in October was 43,490.

“In view of the national lockdown consequent to the COVID-19 pandemic, several establishments were closed and which may have had implications on the reporting. The reported figures are thus likely to undergo significant revision in the next few months,” Mospi said in a statement.

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, 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.

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