Companies that are central to the effort to keep the country standing during the coronavirus crisis have posted thousands of job listings online.
New adverts for all kinds of jobs, from delivery drivers and nurses to teachers and cleaners, have appeared in the past few days.
These offer a ray of hope among a general feeling of gloom, as some firms have been forced to make staff redundant and there have been almost half a million new applications for Universal Credit, with claimants reporting online queues into the tens of thousands.
On social media, applicants were reporting that they had interviewed for a job, been hired and asked to start the following day such is the rush to fill the slots.
However, analysis from leading recruitment websites showed that it was not just supermarkets hiring en masse. The figures show a huge spike in firms hiring in some sectors, including distribution and social care, but a worrying dip in others, including catering and hospitality.
According to CV Library, an online jobs board, listings in the distribution sector were 17.5pc higher in the week commencing March 16 compared to the week before. Job adverts in telecoms were up 2.2pc and social care 0.3pc.
However, new adverts for catering jobs fell by 60.5pc, administration by 53.9pc and hospitality by 45pc.
The website said it had seen a rise in the number of people looking for work.
Lee Biggins, of CV Library, said: "The sad reality is that many companies have had to let employees go during these challenging times and this means more people are actively looking for jobs.”
There were 31,387 new jobs advertised in just three days last week on Indeed, another jobs board, according to analysis by Savoy Stewart, a commercial estate agency. Among these there were just over 5,000 adverts for customer service staff, 4,600 for nurses and 2,800 in transport.
Also in the top 10 most popular new listings were teachers, doctors, cleaners and childcare providers.
Savoy Stewart also found an increase in the number of adverts for online tutors, with 62 new listings posted in the time period. This is expected to increase now that the Government has moved to close schools.
Glassdoor, anothers job site, found that listings for jobs in the healthcare sector had increased by 2.8pc week-on-week, but that listings in most other sectors had fallen.
Daniel Zhao, a senior economist at the firm, said: “Roles in entertainment, transport, travel and tourism are the first to see the biggest hiring cuts, as social distancing and self-isolation rules means demand for these services has very quickly and very dramatically declined.”
“In the very near future, we expect to see further increases in open roles in healthcare as the front line continues ramping up its strengths to tackle Covid-19, as well as retail and logistics as these service industries step up their responses to keep vital supply chains functioning.”
Additional reporting by Marianna Hunt