Only 40, 769 new jobs in 2018, Odisha languishes at 18th in country: EPFO

.....India saw 94lakh new jobs in 2018.....Odisha accounts 0.4% of total jobs India created....State's job-seeking population 2% of country's

Bhubaneswar: A scary year of 2018 for the jobseekers in Odisha. Because, when around 10 lakh were actively seeking jobs in year 2018, jobs created in the organised sectors in Odisha, including that of private sector, totalled to a mere 40, 769 only.

How acute is the employment creation in Odisha is evident from the fact of total jobs generated in the organised sector in Odisha in 2018 accounted for a meagre 0.4 per cent of total jobs created in the country last year. But job seeking population in Odisha in the age-group of 18-35 years accounted for around 2 per cent of country’s jobseeker population in the same age-group. The result is Odisha languished at a distant 18th among 30 major States and UTs in the indicator of job creation in 2018.

Such a prevailing bleak scenario in new jobs generation  in the organised sector in Odisha was brought to fore recently by Employment Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), a central organisation that plans social security to workforce employed in organised sectors. The EPFO puts out the new jobs generated in a year based on its net payroll data with zero accounts opened in the year. The significance is it’s like a census or say headcount of new jobs generated in a year in  the country.

Sample this: As per EPFO net payroll data for 18-35 years, when country saw new jobs totalling to a high of around 94lakh in year 2018; Odisha could see a mere 40, 769 only. Moreover, an analysis show lack of job diversification in organised  sector as most jobs come up in 2018 were of entry level only. For instance, when new jobs created in Odisha in the age – group  of 18-25 years  (fresh job seeker age-group) were around 32,000, it slid to a mere around 9,500  in 26 – 35 years (age-group where previous experience counts in job requirement). But uniformity seems well entrenched in job market nationally as nation saw new jobs totalling around 21 lakh in 18-25 years that moving up further to around 35 lakh in age-group of 26-35 years.

However, Odisha is ahead of States like Jharkhand,  Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Goa and other north-eastern States. Bihar, Chhattisgarh remained ahead of Odisha in job creation in organised sector for the age-groups of 26-28 years and 29-35 years. The top-10 major new jobs generators in country respectively are:  Maharashtra,, Gujarat, Haryana, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

Why EPFO net payroll numbers are distressing for Odisha? Firstly, when jobseekers count at around 3 lakh in age-group of 18-35 years, job-offers here count to mere thousands. Secondly, job-market is inelastic in Odisha, means  job-offers not coming forth for jobseekers with work experience. In elastic job market, jobseekers can suitably get offer in all age-groups. Thirdly, fewer job-offers in Odisha vis-a-vis nationally is attributed to lack of sector diversification. For instance, expert services like banking, finance, insurance, stocks etc are the major new job generators in the country but lack of such a diversified service sector in Odisha is proving a handicap for new jobs generation. Other major job churners, as per EPFO data, are trading – commercial establishments, electrical, mechanical or general engineering products. Significantly,  engineering goods sectors in Odisha has very poor footprints.

Why EPFO net payroll data is significant to assess new jobs creation? According to the Centre for Statistics Organisation (CSO), the EPFO net payroll data measures new job creations in the formal or organised sector. A study also by SBI Group Chief Economic Advisor Dr Soumya Kanti Ghosh and IIM Bangalore Professor Pulak Ghosh explains how EPFO’s net payroll data  with non-zero contributions indicate high probability of new job offers in a month/year.