Aberdeen has seen the biggest fall in job vacancies in the whole of the UK in the past 12 months, according to a new study.
Research by Centre for Cities and global job site Indeed analysed the economic impact that coronavirus restrictions have had in all cities and large towns across Scotland and England to date.
The study found that Aberdeen recorded the steepest fall, down by 75% year-on-year, which is closely linked to the collapse in local service jobs.
It also indicates that job vacancies have failed to return to pre-coronavirus levels in all 63 towns and cities they analysed.
These are roles that involve selling directly to local consumers, including sectors like food, retail, arts and leisure, which are exposed to coronavirus-related restrictions.
Public sector jobs have also been relatively sheltered from the crisis compared to private-sector ones.
The deserted high streets and city centre will continue to hamper the region’s jobs recovery.
Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, says the news is “disappointing but sadly not wholly unexpected”.
“It’s unexpected with the sustained pressure on oil and gas vacancies, which have now been further exacerbated by Covid-19,” Mr Watson added.
“Clearly the national guidance around home working has hit cities particularly hard and Aberdeen is not immune to this.
“We hope that Aberdeen is given the support it needs at a national level in its recovery phase and also that there is a move to see a return of more of our office workers as soon as it is deemed safe to do so.
“It continues to be a hugely worrying time for all our businesses in the city centre and Aberdeen Inspired will continue to lobby at a local and national level to ensure they get the further help and support they need.”
Russell Borthwick, chief executive of Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce, added: “No amount of financial support can compensate for an open, fully-functioning economy.
“Chambers of Commerce, driven by the feedback of our members, have been pressing for a job support scheme which is more reflective of the challenging reality confronting firms as they look to retain workers in the face of tightening restrictions.
“First and foremost businesses need governments across the UK to set out a credible path to managing the virus and easing restrictions. Even in areas where businesses have not been forced to close en masse, low consumer confidence is driving down demand and causing a real impact.”