Despite the economic slowdown and news of large scale redundancies, many employers are still looking to recruit new staff, it has been claimed.

According to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), it is not surprising that unemployment numbers have increased over recent months.

However, it insists there are still plenty of jobs available and the UK employment market is in much better shape than some of its European counterparts.

"The feedback from recruitment professionals confirms that employers are still recruiting, although it is clearly a more competitive labour market for jobseekers following years of an extremely candidate-driven market," said Tom Hadley, director of external relations at the REC.

And he urged the government not to aggravate employment prospects with tax changes and the introduction of new regulations on employers.

Last week, the Trades Union Congress warned that the number of people unemployed for at least a year could rise to 700,000 by the end of next year, up from 400,000 at present.