A survey that analyses hiring and firing trends has found that while there is a slowing of job prospects overall, some 43 per cent of companies questioned have said they will maintain recruitment levels in 2009.

That is according to the Global Snapshot from international recruitment firm, Antal, which questioned some 2,700 companies over 23 markets.

Tony Goodwin, Antal’s chief executive, explained that since its last quarterly survey confidence is not what it was and has "faltered" but "hasn’t evaporated completely".

Mr Goodwin explained that the slowdown in the world’s economy "does not mean that recruitment has come to a complete stop by any means".

While there is a slight downturn in hiring activity in the UK, with 28 per cent of those questioned admitting they are seeking staff compared to 31 per cent in the last report, activity is high in particular sectors.

The research revealed the market for senior sales and marketing professionals is particularly busy.

Chief executives from recruitment companies in the UK have written a letter – published in the Financial Times – to ministers accusing them of imposing a "tax on jobs" by making changes to VAT that will increase the cost of hiring temporary employees.