A recruitment agency contacted me this week and we had a chat and they painted the same picture saying things have been very slow for the past 6 months. The agencies will still advertise though for people, even though they have nothing, on the off chance something comes in and they want to be the first to get peoples resumes to the client. It can be hard for new migrants/job seekers because they see the adverts and think there is work out there.
I recently went to 3 agencies (as the employer) looking for someone and within a couple of hours of speaking to them 2 out of the 3 agencies had placed adverts on seek about the temp role (although I am sure they would have had people on their books). One of them put in the advert 'possible extension of contract' when there had never been a discussion about this and I had given them specific dates the temp assignment was for.
Just be careful what promises are made to you and keep your bullsh*t radar on full alert!!!