Around 1.2 million new members joined the ESIC-run social security scheme in March, as against 1.1 million in the previous month, official data on Tuesday showed, giving a perspective on formal sector employment in the country. The gross enrolments with ESIC during 2020-21 dipped nearly 24 per cent to 1.15 crore amid the pandemic, compared to 1.51 crore in 2019-20, according to the latest data. The latest data are part of a report released by the National Statistical Office (NSO).

Gross new enrolments with the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) were 0.8 million in June 2020, 0.4 million in May and 0.2 million in April, showing the increase in enrolments after easing of the lockdown, as per the data. In July 2020, gross enrolments dipped to 0.7 million, but improved to 0.95 million in August, 1.1 million in September and 1.2 million in October 2020. It again dipped to 0.9 million in November 2020.  The gross enrolments with ESIC improved to 1.2 million in December 2020. The gross enrolments again dipped to 1.1 million in January and further to 1.17 million in February this year. The government had imposed a nationwide lockdown on March 25 last year to contain the spread of coronavirus infections. Later, restrictions were eased for various economic activities in phases.