Even though the central government attributes a sharp rise in the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) payroll over the past year as evidence to huge employment creation, Chief Statistician of India Pravin Srivastava says otherwise. EPFO enrollment data never “talked about job creation,” he told The Indian Express in an interview and the given data should be instead seen as proxy to formalisation of economy, he added.
On being asked that “numbers for those who are shifting jobs are not reflective of job creation,” Pravin Srivastava who was recently appointed as Chief Statistician of India told The Indian Express, “I don’t think we ever talked about job creation. It was trying to say that these people have entered the formal market. They were not unemployed, they need not have been unemployed earlier.”
He also said that the people who join EPFO add to formalisation of economy as they get access to social security and other benefits.
During a recent debate in the parliament on the no-confidence motion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that more than 10 million jobs were created in the country in the past one year alone, citing the EPFO payroll data.
Meanwhile, recent EPFO’s payroll data showed that the job creation surged to an 11-month high of 9.51 lakh, taking the total number to 61.81 lakh since September 2017. However, the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) data showed that the number of employed persons has been declining since November 2017. “The count of the unemployed increased by an estimated 1.7 million,” CMIE report had recently said.