Formal jobs created under the employee's provident fund organisation (EPFO) surged 9.14% to 16.82 lakh in September compared to 15.41 lakh jobs in the same period last fiscal, according to the data released by the Ministry of Finance. Of this, around 9.34 lakh jobs are the first timers in September. The net enrollment in the month is 21.85% higher than the monthly average recorded during the last fiscal. In August, the total new members added under EPFO stood at 16.94 lakh. 

Among the new members, the highest number was registered for the age group of 18-21 years with 2.94 lakh members, followed by the age group of 21-25 years with 2.54 lakh members. Around 58.75% of new members are from the age group between 18 years and 25 years. And 3.50 lakh female members joined EPFO in September, with a growth rate of 6.08% YoY against 3.27 lakh members in the same period last year. Among the total new members joining EPFO in the month, enrolment of the female workforce has been recorded at 26.36%.

“This shows that first-time job seekers are joining organised sector workforce in large numbers following their education and new jobs in organised sector are largely going to the youth of the country,” the ministry said. 

During the month, as many as 7.49 lakh net members exited and rejoined EPFO by changing their jobs, and opting to transfer their funds from their previous provident fund account instead of going for final settlement. In September, the members exiting EPFO declined by 9.65% as compared to the previous month. 

Amongst the states, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Gujarat and Delhi lead the job creation under EPFO by collectively adding around 11.41 lakh new members, which is 67.85% of total net payroll addition across all age groups. 

“The classification of industry-wise payroll data indicates that mainly two categories i.e. ‘Expert services’ (consisting of manpower agencies, private security agencies and small contractors etc.) and ‘Trading-Commercial establishments’ constitute 48.52% of total member addition during the month. Comparing industry-wise data with that of previous month, higher enrolments have been noticed in industries namely, ‘Banks other than Nationalised Banks’, ‘Textiles’, ‘General Insurance’, ‘Hotels’, ‘Hospitals’ etc,” the ministry said. 

Recently, a Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) report showed that in October the country’s unemployment rate witnessed a growth of 7.77%, as compared to a four-year low of 6.43% in September owing to a significant rise in the rural unemployment rate. Of this, the unemployment rate in urban areas witnessed a decline to 7.21% from 7.70% in September, whereas rural areas saw the jobless rate rising to 8.04% in the month. 

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