It may still be a while before industrial growth picks up in the country on the back of policy reforms and investments in the rural sector and infrastructure that the government plans to incur, but it appears that India Inc is gearing up for better times by hiring talented manpower to be prepared for the upswing in the domestic economy, as and when it happens.

According to a report issued by New York-listed workforce solutions firm Manpower Group on March 8, hiring activity is expected to rise by 38 percent year-on-year in the April-June 2016 period, the first quarter of the next fiscal.

“For the third consecutive quarter, employer confidence in India is stronger than in any of the other 41 countries and territories participating in the survey,” the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, which interviewed a representative sample of 5,203 employers in the country, states. “Nearly half of the employers surveyed expect to add to their payrolls during the April-June time frame, and opportunities for job seekers are expected to be bright in most Indian industry sectors and regions.”

AG Rao, group managing director of ManpowerGroup India, said in a statement that Budget 2016, which was presented on February 29, was further expected to favour more foreign investments flowing into the country and campaigns like ‘Make In India’ were expected to drive global companies to set up manufacturing facilities in India.

Not surprising then that the Manpower study estimates the strongest labour market in the manufacturing sector where net employment is expected to grow 43 percent annually. Services and the mining and constructions sectors are expected to grow their net payroll strength by 40 percent and 38 percent respectively during this period.

Quarter-on-quarter, however, hiring plans will weaken in six of the seven sectors covered by the Manpower Group report. Most noteworthy sequential decline in hiring is expected in the transportation and utilities sector (18 percentage points), public administration and education (15 percentage points) and finance, insurance and real estate (14 percentage points).

In terms of regional trends, South India promises to be the strongest labour market in the first quarter of fiscal 2017-18, with a net employment outlook of 42 percent growth, along with West India, where hiring is expected to grow at 39 percent year-on-year.