The provisional payroll data of EPFO published on 20th March, 2021 highlights a growing trend of subscriber base with the addition of 13.36 lakh net subscribers during the month of January, 2021. Despite COVID-19 pandemic, EPFO added around 62.49 lakh subscribers during the current financial year.
The data reflects growth of 24% for the month of January, 2021 over December, 2020. Year-on-year comparison of payroll data indicates an increase of 27.79% in net subscribers’ as compared to the corresponding period last year, indicating return to the pre-Covid levels of subscriber growth for EPFO. Growing trend in EPFO payroll numbers and the accelerated expansion of the subscription base may partly be attributed to recent e-initiatives taken by EPFO for seamless and uninterrupted service delivery in addition to the policy support for formalization of the economy through ABRY, PMGKY and PMRPY schemes of Government of India, amid COVID -19 pandemic.
Of the 13.36 lakh net subscribers added during the month of January 2021, around 8.20 lakh new members will receive the benefit of EPFO’s social security schemes for the first time. Around 5.16 lakh net subscribers exited and then rejoined EPFO indicating switching of jobs by the subscribers within the establishments covered by EPFO and subscribers choosing to retain membership by transferring funds rather than opting for final settlement. Members are now availing the facility of hassle-free auto-transfer of PF holdings from old PF account to the new PF account on change of job, which facilitates continuity of their membership with EPFO.
Net payroll addition data reflects that the number of members exiting EPFO has been declining continuously after the peaking in June 2020, during current financial year. This trend indicates that the adverse impact of COVID- 19 on members’ exit from EPFO has gradually dissipated.
The data of exited members is based on the claims submitted by the individuals/establishments and the exit data uploaded by employers, whereas number of new subscribers is based on the Universal Account Number (UAN) generated in the system and have received non-zero subscription.
Age-wise analysis indicates that during January 2021, the age-bracket of 22-25 has registered substantial growth in subscriber base with around 3.48 lakh net enrollments. This age-group may be considered as freshers in the job market. This is followed by age-bracket of 29-35 with around 2.69 lakh net enrollments, which can be seen as experienced workers who changed jobs for career growth and opted to be with EPFO.
Category-wise analysis of industry reflects healthy growth as compared with the previous months. The ‘expert services’ category still tops in volume terms with 5.65 lakh net payroll addition during January 2021 . Among top 10 industry classification Computer and IT services category along with Electrical, Mechanical or General Engineering Products category registered highest month-on-month growth of around 40% as compared to previous month with 42205 and 77392 net additions for January 2021, respectively. This was followed by Trading & Commercial establishments category with 82238 net payroll additions registering 27% growth as compared to previous month.
Pan India comparison shows that states of Maharashtra, Haryana, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are in forefront of net payroll addition by adding 34.24 lakh net subscribers out of 62.49 lakh cumulative net subscribers added during the current financial year, across all the age-groups.
Gender-wise analysis shows that 2.61 lakh net female subscribers were added in the month of January, 2021 showing an increase of approximately 30% over the previous month of December, 2020.
The payroll data is provisional since the data generation is a continuous exercise as updation of employee record is a continuous process. The previous data hence gets updated every month. Since April, 2018 EPFO has been releasing payroll data covering the period September 2017 onwards. The data published comprises of members who have joined during the month and whose contribution has been received.