More women in the workplace, shows EPFO data

By: |
November 23, 2020 7:30 AM

Moreover, in contrast with earlier months, when new women subscribers to the EPFO were typically from the 22-25 years age bracket, in September more than one lakh or 38% of the new women subscribers were over 35 years of age.

To be sure, not all new subscribers joining in the EPF scheme can be considered to be new jobs since there could be some element of formalisation of the economy with several having held jobs in the informal sector.To be sure, not all new subscribers joining in the EPF scheme can be considered to be new jobs since there could be some element of formalisation of the economy with several having held jobs in the informal sector.

The share of women in new formal jobs rose to a high of 26% in September from 18-22% in earlier months, the latest payroll data released by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) showed.

Of the total 10,47,167 new subscribers who joined the EPF scheme in September, 2,72,395 were women. The number of men who enrolled with the EPF was 7,74,751.

Moreover, in contrast with earlier months, when new women subscribers to the EPFO were typically from the 22-25 years age bracket, in September more than one lakh or 38% of the new women subscribers were over 35 years of age.

To be sure, not all new subscribers joining in the EPF scheme can be considered to be new jobs since there could be some element of formalisation of the economy with several having held jobs in the informal sector.

Suchita Dutta, executive director, Indian Staffing Federation (ISF), attributed the rise in the share of women to their increased participation as healthcare and care-giving workers since the pandemic and also to the opening up of more opportunities for them in the packaging and facility management services sectors. FE had recently reported that the reverse migration of male workers to their villages has seen women stepping into the breach. The packaging and mobile manufacturing sectors now employ many more women and their count has nearly doubled in the last seven months to 11-12% of the workforce from 5-6% earlier. Former chief provident fund commissioner KK Jalan pointed out that the numbers for one month cannot really be considered a trend. Nonetheless, even if the September numbers are an aberration, it is a healthy one.

As per the 2019-20 Economic Survey, India had a total of 471.2 million workers in 2017-18. Of these,108.5 million were female, down from 129.1 million in 2011-12. The number of male workers during the period, however, increased to 362.9 million from 343.8 million in 2011-12.

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