EPFO added 17.21 lakh net members in September 2023, an increase of 21,475 over the previous month of August 2023, the payroll data released by EPFO shows. On a year-on-year basis, the total number of EPFO members increased by 38,262 as compared to the same period last year.

Around 8.92 lakh new members enrolled in September 2023. Among these newly joined members, the age group of 18-25 years constitutes 58.92% of the total new members added in the period. This shows that a “majority of the members joining the organised sector workforce of the country are youth, who are mostly first-time job seekers”.

Around 11.93 lakh members exited but rejoined EPFO as they switched jobs and re-joined the establishments covered under the EPFO and opted to transfer their accumulations instead of applying for final settlement thus, extending their social security protection. As compared to the previous month, the number of exits decreased 12.17%, with 3.64 lakh exits in September 2023.

The number of members exiting EPFO has been declining since June 2023, the Ministry of Labour & Employment says.

Gender-wise analysis of payroll data shows that out of the total 8.92 lakh new members added in September, around 2.26 lakh are new female members, joining EPFO for the first time. Also, the net female member addition during the month stood at around 3.30 lakh.

State-wise, the net member addition stands the highest in the five states of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat and Haryana, constituting 57.42% of net member addition, adding a total of 9.88 lakh members during the month. Of all the states, Maharashtra is leading by adding 20.42% of net members in September.

The EPFO data on the month-on-month comparison of industry-wise data shows a significant growth in the members working in establishments engaged in the sugar industry, courier services, iron and steel, hospitals, travel agencies, etc.

Of the total net membership, around 41.46% addition is from expert services, consisting of manpower suppliers, normal contractors, security services, miscellaneous activities, etc.

EPFO has been releasing payroll data, covering the period from September 2017 onwards, since April 2018. In monthly payroll data, the count of members joining EPFO for the first time through Aadhaar validated Universal Account Number (UAN), existing members exiting from coverage of EPFO and those who exited but re-joining as members, is taken to arrive at net monthly payroll.

The fifth round of the annual periodic labour force survey (PLFS) of 2022-23 released last month points to a flourishing job market. All three headline numbers – worker-population ratio (WPR), labour force participation rate (LFPR) and unemployment rate (UR) – are consistently improving since 2017-18.

India’s WPR in CWS for “all ages” is consistently going up – from 32.7 in 2017-18 to 38 in 2022-23. LFPR in CWS status for all ages is also going up (except for a dip in 2021-22) – from 35.9 in 2017-18 to 40 in 2022-23. The unemployment rate (UR) reflects how many are looking for jobs but can’t find them. India’s UR has gone down from 8.9 in 2027-18 to 5.1 in 2022-23.

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