Recruitment in the UK is being affected by current uncertainty in the jobs market as economic conditions worsen, with recruitment agencies acting as "shock absorbers".

A new report from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) found that agencies are beginning to pick up most of the strain caused by job market uncertainty and provide the labour market with flexibility.

Adverse economic conditions, such as slowing growth, rising energy prices and inflation, are affecting all areas of UK industry in the wake of the credit crunch and recruitment agencies are helping to cushion the jobs sector, though there are signs of a possible slowdown.

The Key Recruitment Trends 2007 report suggests that 2007 was another strong year for Britain’s recruitment industry and most indicators of satisfaction, performance and efficiency remain generally above those recorded in 2006.

Roger Tweedy, REC head of research, claims that the next period will mark a crucial time for the economy in which recruitment agencies will play a "critical role".

He has urged ministers to think carefully before introducing any extra pressures on agencies when they may already be starting to feel the "commercial heat".

The REC is a trade body supporting and representing the UK’s £27 billion recruitment industry.