Soon after India gradually started various economic activities in May 2020, the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation’s (EPFO) subscriber base grew more than three times in just a month. EPFO added 3.18 lakh members in May while only 1 lakh new members were added in April 2020, according to the Ministry of Labour & Employment. The subscriber base growth is due to an increased number of new subscribers, lower exits, and higher rejoining by exited members, it added. The new subscriber joining has increased roughly by 66 per cent from 1.67 lakh in April to 2.79 lakh in May 2020. In addition, the exits from the EPFO subscriber base fell nearly 20 per cent from 2.97 lakh in April to 2.36 lakh in May 2020.
May was the month which witnessed nearly 19 per cent more people switching their jobs. The new establishments registered with EPFO also witnessed a growth of around 72 per cent with 8,367 new establishments registering in May compared to 4,853 establishments in April 2020.
The building and construction sector, hotels, transport; electrical, mechanical, or general engineering products; education and textiles were adversely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic in the month of April 2020. Most of these sectors had registered negative enrolment in the month. Expert services industry classification that added almost 4 lakh members every month before the coronavirus kicked in, had added only around eighty thousand members during April 2020. Expert services predominantly consist of manpower agencies, private security agencies, and small contractors.
However, all these sectors, except the education sector which is still affected due to lockdown continuing in schools and colleges, have shown positive growth in the month of May 2020. In fact, the expert services have recorded a 125 per cent growth on-month by adding around 1.8 lakh net new subscribers in May 2020. Meanwhile, EPFO manages social security funds of workers in the organised and semi-organised sector in India and has more than 6 crore active members.