Data for fiscal 2020-21 show a year-on-year decrease in net payrolls for three age groups — under 18, 18-21, and 22-25 — as compared to the relatively older age groups. Payroll increases in these three younger age categories fell by 19%, 15.6%, and 4.2%, respectively. Those aged 25 and under were among the most impacted, with many of those who lost their jobs during the pandemic’s deadliest months unable to find work. In contrast, payroll additions increased in the age groups 26-28, 29-35, and over 35.
EPFO oversees the social security funds of workers in India’s organized and semi-organized sectors. Payroll data comprises details of employees registered by the companies and contains data on both new employee entry and departures.
How it’s impacted the job?
Due to a statewide lockdown that brought the Indian economy to a halt in the first few months of the previous fiscal year, there were significant employment losses. While the situation improved over the next few months, data revealed that many high-quality positions that had been lost had not been replaced.
This allegation was substantiated by statistics from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE). According to CMIE data, the cumulative loss of salaried jobs since the epidemic is 12.6 million, with the majority of the losses occurring in rural India. As of April 2021, there were only 73.3 million salaried employments, down from 85.9 million in 2019-20.
“The pandemic has affected both the workers and potential workers. Young and female workers are likely to be far more vulnerable than others. The pandemic has resulted in inequitable labor force outcomes,” said K.R. Shyam Sundar, professor in human resource management, XLRI Jamshedpur. He stated that Covid has an impact on the services industry, particularly current retail divisions and the gig economy, where college students often find work. He also stated that women are less likely to enter the labor force as a result of Covid-related difficulties.
Simultaneously, fewer firms are likely to employ women. “Both supply and demand-side issues are to blame for a drop in female labor force participation,” he stated.
The EPFO payroll data also suggests that women are disproportionately affected. Net payroll enrolment for women up to the age of 28 fell dramatically. The decline in enrolment in the age ranges of under 18, 18-21, 22-25, and 26-28 in 2020-21 was 16%, 27%, 20%, and 7.8%, respectively, well exceeding the decline in overall payroll additions.
Another reason for the dramatic decline among younger age groups could be that relatively older employees are generally unionized, providing them with greater job security. This may not be the case for young people and women, who are often not members of unions or have very low participation rates, according to Sundar.
What reports are saying?
Ankur Bharadwaj and Kanika Mahajan of Ashoka University wrote in a May 31 paper that the Covid pandemic had the greatest impact on age groups that are likely to be made up of first-time labor market entrants or employed youth. They stated that urban areas, which were significant formal sector employment generators, were the hardest hit, and that the road to recovery in quality employment is difficult.
According to a State Bank of India study report dated 28 May, employee expenditure data for 284 listed businesses revealed that, with the exception of large businesses (turnover of more than Rs 1,000 crore), staff spending for others decreased in FY21. “The highest reduction was recorded in the smallest organizations, indicating that employees of smaller enterprises were the most harmed by the Covid-19 pandemic,” the report stated.
According to the research, the actual net new payroll (additions due to first jobs) for 2020-21 will be 44 lakh, almost 17 lakh fewer than the new payroll generated in 2019-20.
(News: The Print)