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EPFO net subscribers’ addition grows over 19% to 1.65 crore in FY24


Retirement fund body EPFO registered over 19 per cent growth year-on-year to 1.65 crore members in 2023-24, as per the latest payroll data, showing improvement in the employment situation in the country.

“In last 6 and half years alone, more than 6.1 crore members joined the EPFO (Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation) fold, indicating formalisation of the job market,” a labour ministry official told PTI.

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The data shows that the EPFO had added 61.12 lakh net subscribers in 2018-19, which increased to 78.58 lakh in 2019-20.

However, it dipped to 77.08 lakh in 2020-21, mainly due to the pandemic effect and improved again to 1.22 crore in 2021-22 and 1.38 crore in 2022-23.

The official informed that the net subscribers addition by the body increased by over 19 per cent to 1.65 crore in 2023-24 compared to 1.38 crore in 2022-23.

The net addition in EPFO subscriptions is an indicator of the extent of formalisation of the job market, and the coverage of social security benefits to the organised/ semi-organised sector workforce, the official opined.

The biggest advantage of EPFO data is that this is administrative data, he pointed out.

During the nationwide lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the net addition to EPFO subscriptions declined and turned negative in April-May 2020, which implies a net exit from the scheme, he stated.

With the unlocking of the economy and easing of restrictions, the EPFO subscriptions bounced back swiftly, reaching 12.2 lakh in September 2020, he noted.

The net additional subscription witnessed a decline again in November 2020 and during the second wave of Covid-19 (April-June 2021).

However, he said, the magnitude of the decline in both cases was less compared to April-May 2020.

The official also cited the surge of vacancies on the National Career Service (NCS) portal in 2023-24.

The NCS Portal has undergone a remarkable evolution, witnessing a surge of over 214 per cent in job vacancies in 2023-24 compared to 2022-23 from about 35 lakh vacancies in FY23 to more than 1 crore vacancies in FY24, he added.

Under the Ministry of Labour and Employment, the NCS Project operates as a standout initiative focused on bridging the gap between employers and job seekers.

Its primary objective is to revolutionise the National Employment Service by providing a wide range of employment-related services, including job matching, career counselling, and employability enhancement facilities, all conveniently accessible online.

The official also stated that analysis of PLFS (Periodic Labour Force Survey) data for the last six years indicates an improving trend in labour participation rate and worker population ratio, with a decline in unemployment rates, improved indicators on female and youth employment, and that of the educated.

The official data source of employment/unemployment indicators in India is the PLFS conducted by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) since 2017-18.

The annual PLFS report depicts an improving trend from 2017-18 till 2022-23 in indicators related to Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR), Worker Population Ratio (WPR) and Unemployment Rate (UR) in usual status for persons of age 15 years and above.

For instance, the WPR has increased from 46.8 per cent in 2017-18 to 56 per cent in 2022-23, the official said.

Similarly, he said that labour force participation has also increased in the country from 49.8 per cent in 2017-18 to 57.9 per cent in 2022-23.

The unemployment rate has declined from 6 per cent in 2017-18 to a low of 3.2 per cent in 2022-23, he stated.





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