New job vacancy figures show a mixed picture across Scotland, with starkly contrasting fortunes reported for Aberdeen and Inverness.
According to jobs website CV-Library, vacancies in the Granite City fell 26% in May, compared with the previous month.
But Inverness had 32.7% more jobs available, despite the devastating impact of Covid-19 on the Highlands and Islands tourism industry.
Vacancies fell by 1.9% across Scotland as a whole during the period, with Glasgow (lower by 7.4%) dragging down the national total as Scotland’s largest city suffered a dearth of new opportunities.
The percentage drop for Aberdeen and Glasgow was partly offset by Stirling, Dundee and Edinburgh, up 43.1%, 15.9% and 8.2% respectively, as well as Inverness.
CV-Library founder and chief executive Lee Biggins said: “Aberdeen was one of a few UK cities to not experience an increase in jobs last month.
“And this is largely down to the fact the city is a hub for oil and gas companies.We know the downturn is forcing these employers to scale back their hiring and make redundancies, with the industry body, Oil and Gas UK, warning 30,000 jobs may be lost from the sector over the next year and a half.
“Unfortunately, it is going to take a long time for the market to recover and this will force people to consider re-skilling and retraining in other areas of work.”
Despite the increase in vacancies in Inverness, these were down by 68.2% year-on-year.
CV-Library also reported a 29.2% month-on-month drop in job applications in the Highland capital during May, with the year-on-year tally for these down by 34.5%.
Applications in Aberdeen fell by 29.2% month-on-month, with Scotland as a whole seeing a 22.8% decline.
Mr Biggins said: “Unlike England, lockdown measures remained in place in Scotland last month, which could be why there’s such a mixed picture when it comes to job adverts.
“At this stage, we still have a long way to go and we cannot expect figures to return to normal overnight, especially when businesses are under a lot of financial pressure.”
Meanwhile, separate research by graduate job website Debut has revealed fruit picking as the work most in demand among UK jobseekers since the start of Britain’s Covid-19 lockdown.
Using Google data, Debut found job searches for fruit picking have rocketed by 843%.