Bangalore: As many as 80% of Indian employees are open to switching jobs in the next six months, topping a job mobility index of workers in 23 countries surveyed by Dutch human resources firm Ranstad Holdings NV.

Graphic: Yogesh Kumar / Mint

The ‘Global Ranstad Work Monitor’, which publishes a quarterly mobilty index, has a minimum sample size of 400 workers in each country across sectors. Its latest review was released in India on Thursday.

India, included in the study for the first time, is highest on the mobility index followed by Mexico, China and Turkey.

Male employees in the 18-24 age group with undergraduate or graduate-level education are seen to be the most mobile, it added.

Employee movement has been limited for more than a year due to a lack of job opportunities during the economic downturn.

Staff mobility is the downside of growth, said E. Balaji, chief executive at Ma Foi Management Consultants Pvt. Ltd. “If for one-and-a-half years people have not experienced growth they are likely to shift (jobs)."

Balaji said India tops the mobility chart buoyed by its economic growth and its comparatively young working population.

During the downturn, the otherwise ambitious Indian worker held on to his job as companies turned cautious on hiring. Now, India’s economy is predicted to grow at 8.5% in fiscal 2010-11, up from an estimated 7.2% in the current fiscal.

The optimism in those numbers is reflected in other recent employee surveys as well.

On Wednesday, Ma Foi released a study that predicted the creation of nearly a million jobs in India in the coming fiscal. A day earlier, Manpower Inc. forecast robust hiring in India in the April to June quarter, placing India at the top of 36 countries surveyed.

Nandita Gurjar, senior vice-president and global human resources head at India’s second-largest software exporter, Infosys Technologies Ltd, had in a 28 January interview predicted a return to higher attrition rates.

Attrition rate at Infosys declined to 11.6% in the quarter to 31 December, from 11.8% a year earlier and 13.7% in the December quarter of 2007.