Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) added 14.4 lakh net members in March, according to the provisional payroll data released on May 20. This includes approximately 7,47,000 new members enrolled during March 2024. Notably, 56.83% of these new members are in the 18-25 age group, indicating that the majority are young individuals and primarily first-time job seekers.

The data also shows that about 11.8 lakh members exited and then rejoined EPFO, often due to job changes. These members opted to transfer their accumulations rather than withdraw them, thereby protecting their long-term financial security and extending their social security benefits.

A gender analysis of the payroll data reveals that out of the 7.47,000 new members, around 2,00,000 are new females. The net addition of female members in March was approximately 290,000, reflecting a trend towards a more diverse workforce.

Industry-wise analysis shows growth in sectors such as manufacturing, marketing services, IT, restaurants, accounting, fish processing, and non-vegetarian food preservation. The expert services sector (consisting of manpower suppliers, normal contractors, security services, miscellaneous activities etc.) alone contributed about 43% of the total net membership increase.

In February, EPFO added 15.48 lakh net members, with around 7,78,000 new enrollments. Over the past six and a half years, more than 6.1 crore members have joined EPFO, highlighting the formalization of the job market.

Historical data indicates that EPFO added 61.1 lakh net subscribers in 2018-19, which rose to 78.6 lakh in 2019-20, dipped to 77.1 lakh in 2020-21 due to the pandemic, and then increased to 1.22 crore in 2021-22 and 1.38 crore in 2022-23.

The data shows that approximately 11.78 lakh members exited and subsequently rejoined EPFO. These members switched jobs and returned to establishments under EPFO's coverage, opting to transfer their accumulations instead of applying for final settlement.

A gender-wise analysis reveals that out of 7.78 lakh new members, around 2.05 lakh are female. The net addition of female members during the month was approximately 3.08 lakh.

A month-on-month industry-wise comparison indicates growth in members working in sectors such as manufacturing, marketing services, IT, performance groups, road transport, automobile servicing, and textiles.

“Of the total net membership, around 41.53% addition is from expert services (consisting of manpower suppliers, normal contractors, security services, miscellaneous activities etc.),” the data reveals.

The payroll data is provisional as it is continually updated. Since April 2018, EPFO has been releasing payroll data from September 2017 onwards. This monthly data accounts for new members with Aadhaar-validated Universal Account Numbers (UAN), existing members exiting, and those rejoining, to determine the net monthly payroll.

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