Job creation plunged 56% in March

Payroll data reveals sharp drop when compared to February figures

New jobs created in Tamil Nadu’s formal sector plunged nearly 56% in March, as compared to February, payroll data released by the Union government showed.

According to data collected through the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), around 58,948 joined the workforce in the State in March when compared to 1,32,499 in February. This was measured in terms of the number of new net enrolments made with EPFO.

More bad news

According to experts, the number would fall further in April, when a complete lockdown was imposed.

In Tamil Nadu, the less than 18 age group saw a 63% dip in enrolments in March, while the 29-35 and the more than 35 brackets saw a drop of 58.9% and 56.5%, respectively, from February.

K.E. Raghunathan, former national president, All India Manufacturers’ Organisation, said things might get worse with an additional expected drop of 20% in April and 10% in May amid the lockdown.

“What is worrisome is the drop in the 29-35 age category, which is middle management level. The financial commitments of this age group are more and it would be difficult for them to find an alternative job,” he said.

Mr. Raghunathan pointed out that about 30% of the companies had restarted operations by May 18 and whether this was a short-term or long-term trend would be known when the June data came out.

Aditya Narayan Mishra , CEO of staffing firm CIEL HR Services, pointed out that the economic activities had been on the decline in the second half of financial year 2020 and the fall was the sharpest in March. April and May would lead to a further drop, he said.

Mr. Mishra also pointed out that many organisations had not filed their ECR (PF returns) for March.

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