The Indian job market is set to benefit from increased economic activity with salaries projected to rise nearly 13% in 2011, the highest increase in the Asia-Pacific region, compared to 11.7% last year, a survey showed. Another survey showed that Indian companies are looking to hire at a hectic pace over the next three months as they prepare themselves to meet rising demand from consumers. The two reports also showed that unlike in the past, when service sectors such as telecom and IT led the way, this time it is the manufacturing sector that will provide a thrust to hikes as well as employment. The Aon Hewitt Annual India Salary Increase Survey projected a 12.9% average hike in pay packets in 2011. Similarly, Manpower Inc Survey on hiring intentions showed that during the April-June quarter, the manufacturing sector would lead the way followed by finance, insurance and real estate. Though the hiring outlook is at the highest level since the Manpower Survey started in 2005, the rise in salaries is yet to reach pre-crisis levels. In 2008, the Aon Hewitt survey showed that pay packets were 13.3% fatter. In terms of real growth, after factoring inflation, it was higher in 2011 at 5.9%, compared to 5.1% in 2008. Aon Hewitt’s Nitin Sethi, however, said that in India, the inflation rate was not the key factor for determining salary hikes. “Instead, it is determined by demand and supply,” he said. So if there is scarcity of people with the skill sets that you possess, your hike could be higher. In terms of performance, the survey showed that the top performers are in line to get an average hike of 17.8%, while the next best — those who exceeded expectations — could get a 13.6% raise.