The UK recruitment market is likely to pick up again over the coming weeks as the worst of the downturn comes to an end by Easter.

That is according to a new report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), which analysed recruitment and staff retention data in both the US and the UK.

According to the organisation’s research, employers are set to make fewer job cuts over the first three months of 2009 than in the final quarter of 2008, suggesting that the worst is over and that recruitment will start to pick up at some point soon.

However, CIPD policy adviser Gerwyn Davies said: "Judging by the similarity of experience in both countries there is clearly some way to go before the jobs fallout from the recession comes to an end in either country."

Meanwhile, workers’ groups have argued that employers are increasingly looking to get through the economic crisis by calling on their staff to put in more unpaid overtime, with IT and finance sector professionals the most likely to be overworked.