Hiring activity registered a 18 percent growth last month, largely driven by IT-software and insurance sectors and the job market outlook looks bullish too, says a report. The Naukri Job Speak Index for February 2016 stood at 1,937, recording an increase of 18 percent in hiring activity over same month last year. “As predicted earlier, job market seems to sustain the momentum gained over the last few quarters and is heading north with 18 percent growth in February 2016,” Naukri.com Chief Sales Officer V Suresh said. Sectorwise, IT-software and insurance witnessed 28 percent growth followed by ITES 17 percent and telecom 6 percent, while hiring remained positive for most parts of the period (February 2015 – February 2016). A negative hiring sentiment was recorded in BFSI, where the period started on a positive note and despite spurts of growth during the year, ended with a decline of (-)5 percent last month, the report said. Meanwhile, demand for professionals in top sectors also recorded positive movement. IT-software recorded an increased demand of 21 percent in hiring professionals, for ITES executives it was 26 percent and for sales professionals it was 15 percent. “Looking at the consistency and pace at which the index is moving over the past few months, I am cautiously optimistic that we are at the cusp of a solid growth phase and good times are ahead for jobseekers,” Suresh added. A city-wise analysis shows that all metro cities registered an increase in hiring activity in February this year over same month last year. Mumbai leads the race with 24 percent growth, followed by Delhi/NCR and Bengaluru at 23 percent and 22 percent respectively. Kolkata records a growth of 21 percent and Hyderabad, Pune and Chennai witnessed growth of 15 percent, 13 percent and 12 percent respectively, the report added.