Data from the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) suggested that not only had formalisation of jobs continued through the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the adverse impact on formalisation was also lower than in the first wave, the Department of Economic Affairs said in the Economic Survey 2021-2022 tabled in Parliament on Monday.
The department said the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) data up to March 2021 showed that urban employment that was affected by the pandemic had “recovered almost to the pre-pandemic levels”.
“The COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions on the movement of individuals and economic activities to curb its spread significantly impacted livelihoods across the globe,” the Economic Survey read.
The EPFO data suggested “significant acceleration in formalisation of the job market, driven by both new formal jobs and formalisation of existing jobs, during 2021, with 13.95 lakh net addition to EPF subscribers in November 2021”.
The net addition to EPFO subscriptions declined in April-May 2020, but bounced back by September 2020, reaching 12.2 lakh. In November 2020, there was a decline again, as well as during the second wave in April-June 2021, it said
“In November 2021, net addition in subscription peaked with 13.9 lakh new subscribers, the highest in any given month since 2017. The latest payroll data of EPFO shows that the net addition in EPF subscribers reached 13.95 lakh during the month of November 2021,” the department said.
On status of labour reforms, the department cited the four labour codes passed in 2019 and 2020, which are yet to be implemented.