The Employees Provident Fund Organisation or EPFO added over 5.18 crore subscribers between September 2012 and February this year, data released by the National Statistical Office showed on Monday. The number of members added in EPF during a period of time gives insight to the number of jobs creation in that particular period across the country. “The National Statistical Office (NSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has released the press note on Employment Outlook of the country covering the period September, 2017 to February, 2022 based on the administrative records available with selected government agencies to assess the progress in certain dimensions,” the government said in a press release on Monday.

According to the data on the employee outlook in India, around 9.34 lakh new employees joined the EPF scheme in February, which is down by almost 2 lakh than its preceding month. In January, EPFO had added 11.14 lakh new subscribers.

The job outlook in India can be estimated by looking at EPFO data as it is mandatory in the country for employers to open an EPFO account for any new employee who is working in any sector — formal or informal. So, whenever someone new joins the professional sector, an EPF account is created, which in turn gives an estimated number of job creation in the country.

“Since April, 2018 this Ministry has been bringing out the employment related statistics in the formal sector covering the period September 2017 onwards, using information on the number of subscribers who have subscribed under three major schemes, namely the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) Scheme, the Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) Scheme and the National Pension Scheme (NPS),” said the Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation in a statement on Monday.

However, retirement fund body EPFO on Wednesday said it added 14.12 lakh subscribers in February 2022, 14 per cent more than 12.37 lakh enrolled in the same month a year ago. “The provisional payroll data of EPFO released today highlights that EPFO has added 14.12 lakh net subscribers in the month of February, 2022,” a labour ministry statement said. Year-on-year comparison shows an increase of 1,74,314 net additions during February, 2022 as compared to that in the corresponding month of 2021.

From Monday’s data, it could be seen that in February 2022, the number of Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) Scheme subscribers declined from 12.99 lakh in January to 12.56 lakh in February. During September 2017 and February 2022, 6.34 crore new subscribers joined the ESI scheme. ESI is applicable to organisations with more than 10 workers, while EPF is for those establishments with over 20 workers.

The numbers of subscribers are from various sources and there are elements of overlap. Therefore, the estimates from various sources are not additive. Detailed information is separately published on the respective organizational websites for the period September, 2017 to February, 2022, the ministry of statistics in a statement.

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