More formal jobs were created in January, with 1.33 million subscribers added to the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) compared to 1.25 million in the previous month. The Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC), however, saw lower addition of 1.15 million than the previous month’s 1.22 million.

Provisional payroll data from the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation showed 53,927 subscribers were added under the National Pension Scheme (NPS) in January, slightly higher than the 53,040 added in December 2020. The number of new subscribers added to the NPS stood at 54,482 in November and 43,490 October . The highest addition under the scheme was 64,647 in April 2020.

Further, the number of exits under the EPFO came down to 0.26 million in January, the lowest in this financial year, compared to 0.57 million in December 2020. The number of subscribers added under the EPFO in November stood at 1.01 million, compared to 1.05 million in October and 1.33 million in September. Net additions under the ESIC stood at 0.93 million in November, 1.19 million in October and 1.15 million in September. In 2019-20, the average net addition under the ESIC stood at 1.2 million.

The highest number of jobs, under both the EPFO and ESIC, were created in the 18-25 year age bracket during the month, signalling a pickup in fresh recruitments at the entry level. The number of new subscribers in the 18-25 years age bracket under the EPFO stood at 0.44 million, out of the 0.82 million additions.

With the imposition of lockdown in the last week of March 2020, the net enrolments in the EPFO fell to 0.572 million that month, from 1.02 million in the previous month.

In 2019-20, the number of net new subscribers went up to 7.85 million from 6.11 million in the preceding fiscal. While the EPF is applicable to establishments having more than 20 workers earning wages up to Rs 15,000 a month, the ESIC applies to firms and establishments with 10 or more employees with wages up to Rs 21,000 a month.

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