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Indian professionals are cautiously optimistic heading into 2021 as two in five Indian professionals expect an increase in the number of new jobs, LinkedIn year-end data shows.

LinkedIn on Thursday released key survey and platform data for 2020.

According to LinkedIn year-end data, India has remained cautiously optimistic and resilient in the face of uncertainty, and overall confidence scores remained steady between 50 and 57 from April to November.

As per the findings, two in five (40 per cent) Indian professionals expect an increase in the number of new jobs (up from 19 per cent in April), and one in two (53 per cent) expect their companies to do better in the next six months, going into 2021.

The workforce sentiment data and confidence scores are based on the online survey responses of 21,066 professionals from April to November 2020 as part of the LinkedIn Workforce Confidence Index, which is a fortnightly pulse on the confidence of the Indian workforce.

"The year 2020 was a disruptive year, and 2021 will help us tackle unforeseen challenges and prepare for new realities. Going forward, India will reimagine the future of work across five areas, specifically the workplace, careers, recruiting, business, and leadership styles," said Ashutosh Gupta, India Country Manager, Linkedin.

Gupta further noted that "in 2021, skills-first hiring will be a pivotal trend, the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) will play a critical role, virtual collaboration will become stronger, and learning will be part of everyone's job. At LinkedIn, we will continue to help professionals navigate these changes and we will stay committed to helping members get closer to opportunities." In 2020, online learning and digital skills took centre stage and Indian professionals pivoted to upskill themselves and stay productive. LinkedIn data states that the average number of monthly learning hours on LinkedIn Learning increased 3X from April to December 2020, compared to pre-COVID months of January and February.

As per LinkedIn's year-end findings, three in five (57 per cent) professionals say they will increase their time spent in online learning going forward.

However, working in isolation and navigating a tough job market over the past few months has adversely affected India's emotional well-being and financial outlook. As of November 2020, four in five (78 per cent) unemployed professionals feel stressed, and only one in three (32 per cent) Indians expect their incomes to increase, heading into the New Year.

This holiday season, three in five (61 per cent) Indian professionals said they will take less time off, while about nine in ten (87 per cent) said they will spend equal or more time working at their primary jobs this year-end, it noted.

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