Home / Economy / Employment falls 22% but 85 lakh jobs created in formal sector in pandemic-hit FY21: CSO
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NEW DELHI : The lockdown imposed to contain covid and the subsequent economic disruptions have had a less-than-expected impact on new job additions in the formal sector.

Around 8.55 million jobs were created in the formal sector in the pandemic-hit FY21, according to data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) on Friday. The number is 22% less than the 11 million jobs created before the pandemic reached our shores in FY20, but it is still more than what many expected, given the nationwide lockdown because of the pandemic. In FY19, job creation in the formal sector was higher, with the addition of 13.9 million EPF subscribers.

CSO uses addition to the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) subscriber base to find employment numbers in the formal sector.

There has been an uproar over job losses and a slowdown in employment generation in the past few months, though the government has cited Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation data to show that employment generation has been on the rise. Experts, however, said EPFO data does not give a complete picture of employment as it is only indicative of the formal sector and leaves out the large workforce in the unorganized sector. EPF is applicable to establishments that have more than 20 workers.

There were as many as 8.5 million new EPF subscribers in FY21, according to the latest data. However, 9.8 million people also stopped subscription during the period. Around 9 million people who had exited EPFO resubscribed to the fund.

The job situation in FY22 is also improving steadily, with more than 6 million new EPF subscribers coming into the fold between April and October, according to CSO data. The job scenario in the formal sector has been extremely good in July, August and September when close to 1 million subscribers joined the EPFO every month.

The ministry of statistics and programme implementation has been bringing out employment-related statistics for the formal sector since April 2018, using the information on the number of subscribers who have subscribed under three major schemes, including EPF, the Employees’ State Insurance Scheme and the National Pension Scheme (NPS). The numbers of subscribers are from various sources and there are elements of overlap. Therefore, the estimates from various sources cannot be added to provide an accurate aggregate, the ministry said.

Though the number of NPS subscribers is relatively low, it gives a sense of additions in jobs in the government and the private sector. The NPS subscriber base increased by 628,834 in FY21. The number of NPS subscribers in the last fiscal from the corporate sector was 141,519, while the base increased by 89,307 in the central government services. The NPS subscriber base at the end of March 2020 was 7.53 million.

The data also provides information on gender-wise job creation. In FY21, 6.6 million males joined the formal job market, while only 1.95 million females joined the workforce. Also, more youngsters in the age bracket of 18-25 years are being employed, while others are still finding the going tough. In the seven months to October, young people formed the chunk of those getting employed in the formal sector, though people over the age of 35 years have also fared well in most months, adding more than 100,000 to the workforce in each of the seven months of FY22. Females in the age bracket of 22-25 accounted for an addition of more than 60,000 EPF subscribers every month.

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