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Data: Number of New Female EPF Subscribers (in 18-25 Age-Group) in 2021-22 Higher Than Even 2018-19

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The EPF payroll data released by the government monthly indicates that the overall number of new EPF subscribers in 2021-22 is still lower than 2018-19. However, females in the age-group of 18-25 bucked this trend. 

In the previous story, we analysed broader trends in EPF membership. Trends indicate a proportionally higher increase in the number of re-joinees compared to new subscriptions. The Provisional monthly estimates of Payroll reports also provide an age-wise breakup of the EPF subscribers. This story provides a deeper understanding of the EPF membership trends age-group-wise.

Despite an increase, the New EPF subscribers in 2021-22 less than pre-pandemic figures across most age-groups. 

In the previous story, we highlighted that there is an increase in the number of new subscribers to EPF during 2021-22 compared to the pandemic hit 2020-21. However, despite this increase, the number of new EPF subscribers is lower than the figures prior to the pandemic. 

Age-group-wise figures also reflect the same trend. Across most age groups, there is an increase in the number of new EPF subscribers in 2021-22, but the annual numbers are still less than pre-2020 figures. However, the proportion of growth varies across age groups except for the 18-25 years age group.

There is a higher increase in the new subscribers in the age groups between 18-28 years compared to those more than 28 years. This is understandable since the 18-28 age group could be first-time job seekers while most in the more than 28 age group may be changing jobs.

  • The numbers of the youngest age group of fewer than 18 years are substantially lower than other groups, but the trend persists. 
  • There is a significant growth of new subscribers in the 18-21 years age group. In fact, the 30.98 lakh new subscribers in this age group is higher than in 2019-20. A similar trend is seen in the case of the 22-25 age group, with 29.3 lakh subscribers in 2021-22 being higher than the 2019-20 figures.  However, the numbers are still lower than in 2018-19. 
  • In the case of older age groups, there is an increase in the number of subscribers during 2021-22 compared to 2020-21. However, they are still lower than the numbers in 2019-20. The growth of new subscribers among those in the 29-35 and above 35 years age groups is much lower than the growth seen in the younger age group.  

Higher increase of Re-joinees among the age groups between 26-35 

The overall trend among the exited members is that there is an increase during 2021-22 compared to 2020-21.  This is reflected across all age groups. In comparison, the proportionate increase in the number of exited members is higher within the age groups of 26-28 and 29-35 years. It ought to be noted that the growth of new subscribers is lower in these two age groups, compared to the younger age groups. This indicates a higher proportion of left employment among the middle-aged groups (26-35) compared to the younger age groups, in 2021-22. This either could be due to the loss of a job or a change in job.  

The data on re-joinees provides a more holistic picture. In the previous story, we highlighted that there is a higher proportionate increase in the number of re-joinees compared to the number of new subscribers. The ratio is higher in 2021-22 compared to earlier years.  Most of the age groups have contributed to this expansive increase in the number of re-joinees to EPF. However, it is more evident among the comparatively older age groups. 

Across the age groups between 26-35 years, the growth of re-joinees in 2021-22 compared to 2020-21 was 58%. Compared to the pre-pandemic years, the increase is 80% among the 26-28 years and nearly 89% among the 29-35 years age group. The growth compared to pre-pandemic years is much higher among the above-35 age group with a 91% increase in 2021-22 compared to 2019-20. This indicates a higher churn in the employment scenario in these age groups. 

Understandably, the growth among re-joinees is lower in younger age groups, as most of them would be new subscribers or first-time job seekers. 

Number of Exits and Re-joinees higher among male EPF subscribers of older age-groups 

The trend among male EPF subscribers largely conforms with the overall trends reflected in EPF membership. The data for new subscriptions indicates that the growth seen in 2021-22 is proportionally higher among the younger males compared to males belonging to the age groups of 26 and above. This increase though is lesser than the pre-pandemic numbers. 

In the case of exits, a higher increase can be seen among the age groups between 22-35 years. 

The highest number of re-joinees among males belong to the age-group 29-35. Overall, this increase is significantly higher across the age groups of 22 to 35 and above. These trends among the male EPF subscribers who have re-joined seem to be driving the overall higher numbers. 

A higher number of new female subscribers across age groups in 2021-22 compared to pre-pandemic years

The larger trend seen across males is also reflected in female EPF subscribers. Compared to 2020-21, the increase in new subscribers among younger female age groups is higher in 2021-22. Whereas in the case of those who have exited and have re-joined, the major increase is seen among females of older age groups. 

In the case of re-joinees, there is an overall increasing trend across the age groups. The figures are significantly higher than that of 2019-20.  In the earlier story, we have highlighted that unlike in the case of males, the new subscribers among females during 2021-22 is higher even compared to the pre-pandemic year of 2019-20.  This trend is not restricted to a specific age group but is observed across all age groups. Those under the age of 18 are an exception, but the numbers are significantly lower than other age groups. 

There are more female EPF subscribers from all the age groups of 18 to 35 and above in 2021-22 compared to 2019-20. In fact, in the case of females in the age groups 18-22 and 22-25, the number of new subscribers in 2021-22 is even higher than that of 2018-19. 

Subscribers in Expert Services Industry form a major part of EPF Subscribers 

EPF Payroll reports also provide the industry-wise net EPF subscribers. The information does not include the membership by status categorization i.e., new subscribers, exited members and re-joinees.  Here is a snapshot of the industries: 

  • Among the top industries for which the data is provided, a major share of the net payroll is contributed by Expert services. In 2021-22, 51.67 lakh EPF subscribers belong to this industry. It is also the leading industry across age groups. In 2018-19, the net new EPF subscribers for this industry was 27.98 lakhs. 
  • Trading & Commercial Establishments have a higher number of EPF subscribers from younger age groups. While this industry ranks second only to Expert services from the 18-28 age groups, their ranking falls among the 29-35 age group. 
  • Most of the other industries engaged in different forms of manufacturing have a higher number of EPF subscribers in the younger age groups.
  • The school industry ranks among the top 10 industry groups with high net EPF numbers among the older age groups i.e., 29-35 and 35 and more. 

Featured Image: EPF Payroll Data

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