Net new enrolments with retirement fund body EPFO increased by 13.73 per cent to 12.76 lakh in April from 11.22 lakh in March this year, according to payroll data released on Sunday. The data released by the labour ministry provides a perspective on formal sector employment amid the coronavirus pandemic. During 2020-21, the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) added 77.08 lakh new members against 78.58 lakh in the year-ago period.
According to the provisional payroll data, EPFO added around 12.76 lakh net subscribers during April 2021, an increase of 13.73 per cent over the previous month despite the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic, a labour ministry statement said. The data reflects that the number of exits in April 2021 has declined by 87,821 and rejoining number has increased by 92,864 compared to March 2021.
According to the EPFO payroll data released in May this year, net new enrolments in April 2020 were in the negative zone at (-) 2,84,576. This means that the number of members who exited the EPFO subscription was more than those who joined or rejoined the scheme. This has happened mainly due to the impact of a lockdown imposed by the government from March 25, 2020, to contain the spread of COVID-19. Of the 12.76 lakh net subscribers added during April, around 6.89 lakh new members have come under the social security coverage of EPFO for the first time.
Around 5.86 lakh net subscribers exited and then rejoined EPFO by changing their jobs within the establishments covered by EPFO and choose to retain membership through transfer of funds rather than opting for final settlement. Age-wise comparison of payroll data showed that the age-group of 22-25 years has registered the highest number of net enrolments with around 3.27 lakh additions during the month of April, 2021.
This is followed by the age-group of 29-35 with around 2.72 lakh net enrolments. The members of 18-25 age-groups, usually first timers in the job market, have contributed around 43.35 per cent of total net subscriber additions in April 2021. State-wise comparison of payroll figures showed that establishments registered with the states of Maharashtra, Haryana, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka remained in forefront by adding approximately 7.58 lakh subscribers during the month, which is around 59.41 per cent of total net payroll addition across all age groups.
The North Eastern (NE) states have shown above average growth in terms of net subscribers addition as compared with previous month. Gender-wise analysis indicates that the share of female's enrolment is approximately 22 per cent of total net subscribers addition during the month. Month-on-month analysis reveals an increasing trend in net female subscribers by adding 2.81 lakh enrolments during April 2021 against 2.42 lakh during March 2021. In addition to this, the number of female subscribers who have come under the ambit of EPFO for the first time, has also increased to 1.90 lakh in April 2021 from 1.84 lakh in March 2021.
Industry-wise payroll data indicates that 'expert services' category (consisting of manpower agencies, private security agencies and small contractors etc.) constitutes 45 per cent of total subscribers addition during the month. In addition, industries involved in making plastic products, beedi, schools, banks and establishments related to iron & steel sectors have also registered above average growth in terms of net addition of subscribers during the of April, 2021 as compared to the previous month of March, 2021.
The payroll figures are provisional since data generation is a continuous exercise as updation of employee records is a continuous process. Since April 2018, EPFO has been releasing payroll data covering the period from September 2017 onwards. The data pertains to members who have joined a particular month and whose contribution has been received. The EPFO manages social security funds of workers in the organised/ semi-organised sectors.