Any discussion of employment in North East Scotland would be incomplete without considering the dominant role of the oil and gas industry. Oil price fluctuations have far-reaching consequences in all sectors, as seen in 2015-16 and 2020-21.

Skills Development Scotland recently carried out an analysis of school leaver destinations, giving a snapshot of how job losses in oil and gas (and knock-on effects in other industries) reduced opportunities for young people to enter employment on completing school. While 2019-20 saw young people entering employment at lower rates across Scotland, the reduction was greater in Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire. The influence of the oil and gas downturn of 2015-16 was even more stark in Aberdeen City, which has yet to return to its pre-2015 levels.