New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday in an interview with Republic Bharat, his first during the election campaign season, attacked the Congress on the issue of employment. He said the named opposition party was spreading confusion and is lying blatantly about jobs.

“Those who are completing the Employees’ Provident Fund Forms (EPF) are without jobs?” he asked.
“How about the people who are building roads? Is that not employment?” the prime minister said during the interview.

“The Congress is spreading an illusion of data without any data,” Modi said to Republic Bharat editor Arnab Goswami.

EPFO data bears Modi out

According to the latest Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) payroll data, net employment generation in the formal sector touched a 17-month high of 8.96 lakh in January 2019. The addition in January was 131% higher as compared with 3.87 lakh EPFO subscribers added in the year-ago month.

Around 76.48 lakh new subscribers were added to the EPFO's social security schemes from September 2017 to January 2019. This is the number of total jobs created in the formal sector in the specified period. 
In September 2017, a net of 2,75,609 jobs was created.

Also Read: EPFO reports job creation spike, Rahul Gandhi's 'vanishing jobs' claim punctured

The EPFO payroll data, for the first time in several months, declared a growth in job creation since September 2017. Initially, it was revising the total job creation downwards to 72.32 lakh in December 2018 from 79.16 lakh in October 2018.

What CII survey found

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the flagship industry association in India, recently undertook a survey of the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), asking them directly, how they saw the jobs picture evolving.

The survey results are eye-popping. As per the respondents, the net new job creation grew at 3.3% per year over the last four years. Extrapolating these numbers to the universe of the firms in the country, CII estimates that in the past four years, anywhere between 1.39 crore and 1.45 crore net new jobs have been created.

The highest contributing sectors for new jobs were hospitality and tourism, textiles and apparels, and metal products. Machinery parts and transport and logistics made up the top five sectors with the highest job creation.