EPFO net new enrolments dip to 10.11 lakh in November
Net new enrolments with retirement fund body EPFO slipped to 10.11 lakh in November from 10.56 lakh in October 2020, according to its latest payroll data released on Wednesday, providing a perspective on formal sector employment amid the coronavirus pandemic. Provisional payroll data released by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) last month had shown that net new enrolments were at 11.54 lakh in October 2020.
“The provisional payroll of EPFO released today reveals that it has added around 10.11 lakh net subscribers in the month of November 2020. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, EPFO has added around 45.29 lakh net subscribers base in the current financial year (from April to November 2020).
“The data published comprises members who have joined during the month and whose contribution has been received,” a labour ministry statement on the payroll data said.
According to the data, around 6.41 lakh new members joined EPFO in November 2020. Roughly 3.70 lakh members exited and then rejoined EPFO, indicating switching of jobs and subscribers choosing to retain their membership by transferring funds rather than opting for final settlement.
Exited members rejoining also indicates that workers are returning to their jobs with decline in active COVID-19 cases in India, it added.
Age-wise analysis indicates that during November 2020, the age-bracket of 22-25 years registered the highest growth in subscriber base with around 2.72 lakh net enrolments. This was followed by the 18-21 age-bracket with around 2.21 lakh net enrolments.
The 18-25 age-group members can be considered as fresh hands in the labour market and have contributed roughly 48.72 per cent of the new subscriber additions for November 2020.
State-wise comparison of payroll data shows that Maharashtra, Haryana, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka continue to remain at the forefront of the employment recovery cycle, adding approximately 53 per cent of the total net payroll additions during the current financial year 2020-21 (from April to November) across all age groups.
Among categories, the ‘expert services’ category (which primarily includes manpower agencies, private security agencies and small contractors) continues to be the best performer by contributing a combined payroll of 23.45 lakh during the current financial year across all age groups.
This constitutes approximately 60 per cent of the net new payroll for the top 10 industry categories for the same period, it added.
Performance in other industry classifications such as the building and construction industry, engineers – engineering contractors; and electrical, mechanical or general engineering products indicates that recovery has started picking up in other sectors as well, the statement said.
Gender-wise analysis shows that the share of females in new enrolment has increased from 21.64 per cent in October to 22.40 per cent in November.
Out of the 6.41 lakh new subscribers who joined the EPF scheme in November, 1.43 lakh were women.
The payroll data is provisional, since updating of employee records is a continuous process and accordingly gets updated on a month-on-month basis.
As per the data released on Wednesday, net new enrolments in April were in the negative zone at (-) 2,11,073 against the figure of (-) 1,79,685 released in December 2020. This means that the number of members who exited the EPFO subscription was more than those who joined or rejoined the scheme.
Earlier in July, provisional data had shown net new enrolments for the month of April stood at 1 lakh, which was revised down to 20,164 in August and further lowered to (-) 61,807 in September, (-) 1,04,608 in October and (-) 1,49,248 in November last year.
The number of net new enrolments in May was also revised further downwards to (-) 1,86,659 from (-)1,43,540 estimated last month.
During 2019-20, the number of net new subscribers rose to 78.58 lakh as compared to 61.12 lakh in the preceding fiscal.
The EPFO has been releasing the payroll data of new subscribers since April 2018, covering the period starting from September 2017.
The estimates are net of the new members enrolled, members exited and rejoined during the month, as per records of the EPFO. The estimates may include temporary employees whose contributions may not be continuous for the entire year, it has said.
The EPFO manages social security funds of workers in the organised/ semi-organised sector in India.