Bangalore: India has topped a survey of 36 countries predicting the job market for April-June 2010 as companies across sectors look to increase their headcount.

The study by human resources firm Manpower Inc. pegs India’s seasonally adjusted net employment outlook for the three months at 39%, or four percentage points higher than for January-March.

Graphic: Yogesh Kumar/Mint

The net employment outlook is the difference between the number of employers who expect to raise their headcount and the number who intend to reduce it, adjusted for seasonal variations.

“Employers remain optimistic on account of strong domestic growth," said Sanjay Pandit, managing director of Manpower’s Indian arm, in a statement on Tuesday.

“We are witnessing improved opportunities for job seekers across all industry sectors, with employers indicating that hiring in India’s services and finance, insurance and real estate sectors will accelerate in the months ahead," he added.

The survey had a sample size of 61,000 employers, including 5,381 from India. It is carried out in the last month of every quarter, predicting the hiring trend for the next.

In December, Manpower had predicted India’s net employment outlook for January-March at 39%, but this was reduced to 35% after the latest round of data collection and seasonal adjustment.

The latest outlook has climbed 16 percentage points over the same period last year, when the country was battling an economic slowdown, marking a substantial recovery in the job market. India’s economy is forecast to grow 7.2% in the fiscal ending 31 March, according to advance estimates by the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO).

Priya Chetty-Rajagopal, vice-president at executive search firm Stanton Chase International, says hiring has picked up and will be sustainable. “In terms of fundamentals, there is an upsurge in engineering and manufacturing. IT (information technology) has also shown a surprisingly robust upturn," she said.

Firms across sectors expect to increase their headcount over the year-ago period. The services sector, which includes IT, telecom and hospitality, leads the way with a net employment outlook of 48%.

Hiring plans have strengthened in finance, insurance, real estate and manufacturing compared with January-March.

Employers in most major labour markets around the world intend to hire in the second quarter at a pace equal to or stronger than the same period last year.