New subscriptions to the social security schemes run by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) dipped to a four-month low in February 2022. Net enrolment, however, was the highest in the first ten months of the year in February at 1.41 million, better than the previous high of 1.37 million seen in January.
New EPFO subscriptions are a proxy for creation of formal jobs in the economy. The government has been incentivising job creation by subdidising EPFO contributions by employers.
As against 0.89 million in November, 0.98 million in December 2021 and 0.92 million in January, fresh subscriptions to EPFO fell to 0.84 million in February 2022. April and May, the two months under the grip of the second pandemic wave and October, for not so apparent reason, had less fresh enrolment under the scheme than in February of the current fiscal.
First-time enrolment, which doesn’t necessarily mean new jobs, was the highest in August at a little over one million.The net addition in February was 0.17 million more compared to the same month last year.
EPFO arrives at the net number by deducting the total of the subscribers who have exited from the sum of new subscribers and those who left earlier but re-joined during the month. EPFO’s latest payroll data showed just 0.36 million subscribers exited the schemes run by EPFO in February, the lowest in the current fiscal.Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Haryana & Delhi added 0.95 million or 67.49% to the total net subscribers added during the month.Share of female enrolment was 21.95% of the total net subscriber addition in February, 2022 with an increase of 22,402 net enrolments over the previous month of January 2022.
According to Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), country’s overall unemployment rate was a six-month high of 8.1% in February.“The payroll data is provisional since the data generation is a continuous exercise, as updation of employee record is a continuous process. The previous data hence gets updated every month,” the ministry of labour and employment said.