A whopping 1.31 crore people found new formal jobs in India in FY23, until February. This marks an 18.2 per cent increase in formal job creation, compared with the corresponding period in FY22. This is according to the analysis of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation’s payroll data.

Of the 1.31 crore people, just a little more than 20 per cent are women. While 27.28 lakh of the 1.31 crore are women, 99.52 lakh are men.

However, a closer look at the data suggests something positive. A comparison of the figures from the corresponding period in FY22 — April 2021 to February 2022 — shows a spike in the proportion of women entering the formal workforce. Between April 2021 and February 2022, 23.5 lakh women entered the formal workforce. However, in FY23 (until February), there was a 15.7 per cent year-on-year increase in the number of women who got new formal jobs. The increase is a lower 13.5 per cent in the case of men.

Going five years back in time, in FY19, just 13.05 lakh women joined the formal workforce. This number grew by 22 per cent in FY20. While it came down by 12.3 per cent in FY21, when the pandemic struck, FY22 saw an 87.3 per cent rise, with numbers growing well above pre-pandemic figures.

When it comes to men, the number of them who found formal jobs increased by 29 per cent in FY20. Even in FY21, there was a meagre increase of 0.63 per cent. In FY22, it rose by 52.35 per cent.

The young new faces

Of all the people who had new formal jobs between April 2018 and February 2022, a majority are aged between 18 and 25. This accounts for roughly 53 per cent of the net new EPFO subscribers. The proportion of new subscribers above the age of 35 is, however, abysmally low at 15 per cent.

The trend remains the same across genders. Among all the women who joined the formal workforce in this period, 53 per cent were people aged between 18 and 25. Among men, it was slightly higher, at 56 per cent. While the proportion of women above the age of 35 was 16.3 per cent, among men, it was 14 per cent.