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EPFO data shows 26% fall in average monthly job creation since Oct

Mudit Kapoor     April 22, 2019

The average monthly formal job creation has been falling consistently with every successive EPFO payroll release, which is the only gauge to measure formal job creation in India. From October 2018 to April 2019, every release of EPFO is showing a dip in average monthly job creation. Only November 2018 release is an exception which showed marginal increase of 1,262 jobs on average.

Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has released payroll data covering the period September 2017 to February 2019. Taking an average of the payroll numbers disclosed by the EPFO, the October release (Sep17-Aug18) had a monthly average of 6.10 lakh jobs. The November release showed an average monthly increase of 1,262 jobs. In the December 2018 release (Sep17-Oct18), the average monthly job creation fell to 5.65 lakh jobs a month. In the January 2019 release (Sep17-Nov18) the same dipped to 4.90 lakh jobs a month. In the subsequent EPFO release in February 2019 (Sep17-Dec18), the average job creation per month fell to 4.52 lakh jobs a month. In the March 2019 (Sep17-Jan19) release the same dipped to 4,49,935 jobs a month. As per the latest release (Sep17-Feb19) by EPFO the monthly average job creation has decreased further to 4,49,261 jobs a month. Marking a 26 per cent revision since the October release of EPFO.

According to the report, there has been net increase in the formal job creation for second consecutive month. In the March release covering September 2017 to January 2019, 76.48 lakh jobs were created. In the February release (September2017 to December 2018) 72.32 lakh jobs were created which was a reduction over the January release which claimed that 73.50 lakh jobs were created between September 2017 and November 2018.  

As per the EPFO's payroll data, 80,86,696 jobs were created between September 2017 and February 2019. January 2019 saw a year on year growth of 140 per cent with creation of 8,94,973 jobs. However, January payroll numbers have been revised by 1,543 jobs since EPFO's previous release in March.

On comparing data for 17 months spanning over the time frame of September 2017 to January 2019, there has been a downward revision of 4,23,897 jobs. Highest downward revision of 69,470 (9.8 per cent) jobs was made in December 2018. Followed by a downward revision of 55,299 (10.7 per cent) jobs in November 2018, and 35,449 (6.8 per cent) for the month of October 2018.

Only the month of March portrays job loss. As per the latest EPFO disclosure 55,934 jobs were lost in the month of March 2018. This number has been revised from the previous release of EPFO which displayed a job loss of 29,023 jobs in March 2018. The reason for this as per EPFO is that "March 2018 figure is negative due to large number of exits reported in the month of March, in view of it being the closing month of the financial year".

In February 2019, job creation numbers stood at 8,61,701. Formal employment for 2.36 lakh people was created in the age group of 22-25 years. The age group of 29-35 years saw creation of 1.54 lakh jobs. And more than 35 age group witnessed a creation of 1.43 lakh jobs.

For each age-wise band, the estimates are net of the members newly enrolled, exited and re-joined during the month. EPFO updates employee records every month.

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