India has once again emerged as the most optimistic nation in terms of hiring plans for the next three months and the recruitment pace is expected to return to the pre-recession level in the new year, global staffing services firm Manpower says.

“There is no more ‘cautious optimism’ among employers anymore, it has given way to ‘definite optimism’ Besides, the pace of hiring will be back to the 2007 level in the next year,” Manpower India Managing Director Naresh Malhan said.

According to the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, India has a net employment outlook — a measure of recruiting plans — of 39 per cent for the first quarter of 2010, the highest among 35 countries surveyed.

India has been reporting the strongest hiring plans globally since the third quarter of 2008.

India’s outlook has improved by 11 percentage points on a quarter-on-quarter basis and by 18 per cent year-on-year.

A sectoral analysis shows that hiring outlook has risen across all sectors. Job seekers in the services, public administration, education, mining and construction, finance, insurance, real estate, and the wholesale and retail trade sector, could look forward to the most favourable hiring environment in early 2010, the survey said.

“The good news is that employer hiring expectations across all industry sectors are improving in the first quarter of 2010, and job seekers in key industry sectors can look forward to the most favourable hiring environment in over a year,” Mr. Malhan said.

A regional analysis shows that employers in India’s four regions expect hiring plans to rise considerably over the next three months both quarter-on-quarter.

The hiring intentions of employers in the North is the most bullish as 44 per cent said they would hire in the next three months time, followed by the Western and Eastern region where employment outlook was 40 per cent. South had the lowest hiring intention of 36 per cent, Manpower said.

Most of the world’s labour markets are also showing signs of recovery for the next three months. Employers in 25 of the 35 countries and territories surveyed are reporting positive hiring intentions for the first quarter.

Hiring in the next three months is expected to return to the pre-recession pace throughout much of the Asia pacific region, while job prospects is likely to improve in the Americas and in some parts of Europe, the survey said.

In the Asia Pacific region, hiring plans are strongest in India, Singapore, Taiwan and Australia. Japan reported the weakest and only negative outlook.

The survey said hiring plans for the first three month of the new year are also strongest in Brazil, Singapore, Taiwan, Costa Rica, Australia, Peru and Hong Kong, and weakest in Ireland, Romania and Spain.

Though employers in 19 countries and territories reported stronger year-on-year outlooks, employers in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland and Romania reported their weakest hiring plans to date, it added.

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