Around 7.41 lakh new members joined the ESIC-run social security scheme in July this year, against 8.13 lakh in the previous month, official data showed on September 25, giving a perspective on formal sector employment in the country. The latest data is part of a report released by the National Statistical Office (NSO) on Friday.
Gross new enrolments with the Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) were registered at 4.81 lakh in May this year, compared to 2.6 lakh in April 2020. The government had imposed a nation-wide lockdown on March 25 to contain the spread of coronavirus infections. The unlock phase started in June.
As many as 8.21 lakh new members had joined the scheme run by the ESIC in March 2020, against 11.83 lakh subscribers in February, according to the payroll data released in May. The NSO report showed gross enrolments of new subscribers with the ESIC were 1.51 crore in 2019-20, against 1.49 crore in the previous fiscal.
During the period September 2017 to March 2018, around 83.35 lakh new subscribers had joined the ESIC scheme. The report said that gross new enrolments with the ESIC during the September 2017 to July 2020 period were 4.07 crore.
The NSO report is based on the payroll data of new subscribers of various social security schemes run by the ESIC, the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) and the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA). It has been releasing such data of these bodies since April 2018, covering the period starting from September 2017.
According to the report, net new enrolments with retirement fund body EPFO stood at 8.45 lakh in July, up from 4.82 lakh in June this year. Latest data showed that net new enrolments in April were in the negative zone at (-) 61,807 against the figure of 20,164 released in August. This means that the number of members who exited the EPFO subscription was more than the number of people who joined or rejoined the scheme.
Earlier in July, provisional data had showed net new enrolments for the month of April at 1 lakh which were revised down to 20,164 in August. The net new enrolments with EPFO had dropped to 5.72 lakh in March 2020 from 10.21 lakh in February, as per the payroll data released in May.
The net new enrolments with the EPFO hover around 7 lakh every month on an average. During 2019-20, the number of net new subscribers rose to 78.58 lakh compared to 61.12 lakh in the preceding fiscal, according to the latest payroll data in the report.
The data showed that during September 2017-July2020 around 3.5 crore (gross) new subscribers joined the Employees' Provident Fund Scheme. The report, titled 'Payroll Reporting in India: An Employment Perspective – July 2020', said that since the number of subscribers is from various sources, there are elements of overlap and the estimates are not additive.
The NSO said the report gives different perspectives on the levels of employment in the formal sector and does not measure employment at a holistic level.