The number of fresh formal jobs increased for the third consecutive month in June to hit a 9-month high, thus signalling a sustained recovery in the labour markets in the first quarter of financial year 2023-24 (FY24), shows the latest payroll data released by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO).
The number of new monthly subscribers under the employees’ provident fund (EPF) increased about 10 per cent — to 1,014,229 in June — from 927,703 in May. Earlier, in September 2022, 1,015,683 new subscribers were registered under the EPF.
Of the 1,014,229 new subscribers registered, the share of young subscribers (of 18-28 age group) increased to 67.8 per cent (687,823) in June from 66.5 per cent (616,783) in May. This is crucial because subscribers in this age group are usually first-timers in the labour market, thus reflecting it’s robustness.
Similarly, the share of women gaining employment increased to 27.7 per cent (281,078) in June, compared to 24.9 per cent (231,187) in the previous month.
Rituparna Chakraborty, co-founder of TeamLease Services, said in the first quarter firms usually prepare a holistic view of their workforce requirements, which facilitates new hiring.
“Going forward, the hiring momentum generated in the first quarter is expected to continue in the short- to medium- term as the festive season is just going to begin. This is expected to generate more new jobs” she added.
Echoing similar views, Lohit Bhatia, president, Indian Staffing Federation (ISF) said the June data shows robustness in formal job creation and is a reflection of transition of informal to formal employment, which is typically led by medium and large enterprises as we reach the festive season.
“The economy is gradually becoming more formalised with goods and services tax (GST) and growing investments in core infrastructure sectors, the downstream positive effects of which are visible on sectors like retail, banking, financial, telecom, and manufacturing. Employers too are preferring to add personnel in the formal sector as that enables continuity and skilling,” he added.
Besides, the net payroll addition — calculated by taking into account the number of new subscribers, the number of exits, and the return of old subscribers — however, increased by 28.9 per cent to 1.78 million in June from 1.38 million in May. The net monthly payroll numbers are, however, provisional in nature and are often revised sharply the following month. That is why the new EPF subscriber figure has greater certitude than net additions. State-wise analysis of the net payroll data denotes that net member addition is highest inthe 5 states of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat, and Haryana, which constitutes around 60.40 per cent of net member addition, adding a total of 1.80 million members during the month, said the labour ministry 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 the Employees’ Provident Fund Scheme, Employees’ State Insurance Scheme, and the National Pension System.
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