The economy added at least 2.2 million formal jobs over the six months to February, according to payroll data released by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) and the National Pension System (NPS) for the first time, bolstering the government’s credentials on job creation.
Overall, EPFO data shows 3.1 million new additions across age groups over this period, of which those in the 18-25 age group, considered a proxy for new jobs, amount to 1.85 million. Such age-wise categorisation is also new. Excluding the 18-25 age band, additions in the higher age groups suggest a greater formalisation of the economy, experts said.
In the case of NPS, the new accounts opened in the central and government sector stood at 350,000 during this period, corresponding to new jobs and taking the total to 2.2 million.
The data will provide comfort to the government which has been facing criticism over sluggish job creation.
The Employees’ State Insurance Corp. (ESIC) also released payroll numbers on Wednesday, but in this case, there may be double counting as these are not Aadhaar seeded. This data shows new registrations minus those who ceased to pay contributions at 520,000 over the six-month period. The net addition in the 18-25 age group is 830,000, which would take the total jobs generated in the six months to over 3 million based on these numbers.