In the jobs created in 2022, the share of those in the age group 18-25 increased to at least a five-year high of 56 per cent.
A Business Standard analysis of the monthly Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) payroll data shows in 2018 the share of youths among the new EPFO subscribers was 50.9 per cent.
The National Statistical Office is releasing the monthly EPFO payroll data since April 2018 as part of the government’s effort to track formal-sector employment by using payrolls as an instrument.
Between 2018 and 2022, the share of employment for the age group 26-35 and above 35 declined by more than 3 percentage points each to 26.6 per cent and 16.9 per cent, respectively.
Employment for those of the age 18-25 grew 13.4 per cent in 2022 over 2021.
In comparison, fresh employment grew 12.5 per cent during the same period.
Youth employment has been cause for concern in both India and globally.
According to the World Bank data, though such employment in India increased to 23.2 per cent in 2020 from 20.6 per cent in 2018, the ratio is lower than the 29.3 per cent in 2012 and 32.4 per cent in 2010.
The latest quarterly Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS), released in November, puts the youth unemployment rate at 18.5 per cent, which is more than twice the overall unemployment rate (7.2 per cent).
Rituparna Chakraborty, co-founder, TeamLease Services, said the increase in the share of people of 18-25 years at a time when job creation had not recovered to pre-pandemic levels showed the companies were mostly offering entry-level jobs.
“The appetite for formalisation at low-end jobs has been sustained in Indian businesses with the government encouraging firms to formalise, with companies now focusing on providing better amenities to women, and the share of women in newly created jobs is expected to go up,” she added.
The share of young women has also increased steadily in the newly created jobs to 24.5 per cent in 2022 as against 19 per cent in 2018.
However, employment creation is still 18.6 per cent lower than pre-pandemic levels.
Only 11.8 million new subscribers joined the EPFO scheme against 14.5 million in 2018.
In the Global Employment Trends for Youth 2022 report, the International Labour Organisation last year said the pandemic had worsened the numerous labour market challenges facing those aged 15-24 years, with younger ones in this group experiencing a much higher percentage loss in employment than adults since early 2020.