At least 7,56,939 people joined formal work for the first time in October, a five-month low, the payroll data of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) showed on December 20.
The new payroll additions is over 1,92,000 less than new additions in September, the detailed payroll note showed, indicative of the slowdown in fresh job creation in the formal sector. New payroll additions were at 9,49,081 in September.
In August and July, new payroll addition numbers were 9,80,954 and 9,76,630, respectively. In June, soon after the second wave of the Covid-19, EPFO had reported 8,80,778 new additions.
As per the payroll data, in the current financial year, new payroll addition in October is the lowest in five months. The only month that reported less new payroll additions than October was May 2021, when the EPFO added 6,43,507 new subscribers.
The payroll numbers hint at the stretch in the labour market, and underlined the softening of the pace of new job creations in the formal sector.
On a month-on-month basis, new payroll additions saw a significant dip in the 18-25 age group. Of the total fresh payroll additions in October, more than 440,812 were in the 18-25 age group, considered crucial in the formal labour market. Meanwhile, 5,52,517 new payroll additions were reported for the same group in September.
EPFO data, however, showed that nearly 12.73 lakh net payroll additions were reported in October, which is also less than the net additions clocked in September, when the social security body registered 13.97 lakh net additions. On December 20, the net addition for September was pegged downward from 1,541,396 net subscribers announced last month to 1,397,035 now.
In a separate statement, EPFO said year-on-year, the net payroll addition comparison shows an increase of around 10.22% in October, 2021.
The latest numbers are provisional, and may change over the next couple of months. Also, the new payroll additions were considered more reliable by experts than the net additions, which tend to fluctuate more.
EPFO further said that industry-wise payroll data indicates that ‘expert services’ category constitutes 40.73 percent of total subscriber addition during October. In addition, growing trend in net payroll additions has been noted in industries such as paper, rice milling, financing establishments etc, it added.
Of the net payroll additions, female enrolment was approximately 21.14% in October.State-wise comparison of payroll figures highlights that the establishments covered in the states of Maharashtra, Haryana, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are in the lead, by adding around 60.64 percent of total net payroll addition across all age groups.