The Indian economy has witnessed the infusion of approximately 52 million new formal jobs during the financial years spanning 2020 to 2023, marking a significant milestone in employment growth. This insightful revelation emerges from a comprehensive research report conducted by the State Bank of India (SBI). The SBI report drew its insights from an in-depth analysis of data from key sources, namely, the Employee Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), the National Pension Scheme (NPS), and the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC). Remarkably, during this same period, an impressive 27% of these newly created employment opportunities were occupied by women.
Delving into the specifics of the report, it becomes evident that a substantial 27 million fresh employees were successfully integrated into the workforce. Analyzing the trends within EPFO payroll data over the past four years, it emerges that 48.6 million net new subscribers were enrolled onto the platform. These subscribers encompassed individuals under various categories, including those experiencing their inaugural payroll, individuals rejoining or resubscribing, and those entering formalized payroll systems.
The first-time job entrants constituted a significant 47% share of the overall net new payroll additions, amounting to an impressive 21.7 million. This insightful data underscores that the net enhancement of formalization reached an admirable 4.2 million during the span of FY20 to FY23. This comprehensive report, authored by SBI's Group Chief Economic Advisor, Soumya Kanti Ghosh, paints an encouraging picture for the future. Ghosh notes, "The initial data from Q1 of the FY24 EPFO payroll shows an encouraging trend."
The first quarter of FY24 EPFO payroll data reveals an encouraging landscape, with 4.4 million net new EPF subscribers, out of which 1.92 million were on their first payroll journey. If this trend persists, the net new payroll count is poised to surpass a historical high of 16 million, with an impressive 7-8 million being first-time job seekers, as indicated by Ghosh.
Examining the NPS data, we find that FY23 witnessed the addition of 824,000 new subscribers. Among these, state government payrolls contributed 464,000, non-government payrolls stood at 230,000, and central payrolls accounted for 129,000. Over the past four years, a remarkable 3.1 million new subscribers have joined the NPS.
In essence, the combined total of formal payroll additions from the EPFO and NPS over the FY20-FY23 period stands at an astounding 52 million. Impressively, women accounted for a noteworthy 27% of this workforce expansion.
Notably, the report highlights a decline in the revision of the second payroll (rejoined/resubscribed) during the initial quarter of the current financial year. This trend indicates that more individuals may be opting to remain within their current employment, reflecting a sense of stability and satisfaction.
Experts emphasize that when integrated with data from the informal sector, the overall employment numbers could be substantially higher. This development signals a robust resurgence of the Indian economy in the post-COVID era, underscoring its capacity to create substantial formal job opportunities and empower women in the workforce.