The number of people in employment in Scotland increased slightly between July and September, according to latest statistics.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show the employment rate among those aged aged 16 to 64 was 74% (2.54 million), a 0.4% increase on the previous quarter.
The unemployment rate among those aged 16 and over remained the same at 4.5% (126,000).
Meanwhile, early estimates using data from ONS and HMRC showed there were 2.32 million employees on payrolls in Scotland in October, a 3.1% decrease on the same month last year.
Business minister Jamie Hepburn said: “For July to September 2020, Scotland’s employment rate estimate rose over the quarter to 74.0% and the unemployment rate estimate was unchanged over the quarter at 4.5%.
“Separate HMRC early estimates for October 2020 show there were 2.3 million payrolled employees in Scotland, decreasing by 3.1% compared with October 2019.
“These figures still do not reflect the full impact of coronavirus (Covid-19) on employment as the job retention scheme has played an important role in supporting employers and employees.
“I welcome the Chancellor’s positive but long overdue announcement last week that he will extend the job retention scheme until March 2021.
“We repeatedly urged the UK Government to safeguard jobs by guaranteeing that this support would be available for as long as employers need it.
“This continues to be a hugely worrying time for people and the Scottish Government is doing everything it can to support them through this crisis.”
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “Today’s figures underline the scale of the challenge we’re facing.
“I know that this is a tough time for those who have sadly already lost their jobs and I want to reassure anyone that is worried about the coming winter months that we will continue to support those affected and protect the lives and livelihoods of people across this country.
“That’s why we’ve extended the furlough scheme until March to protect millions of jobs across the UK and support people to continue to provide for their families.
“For young people, who have been particularly hit by this crisis, we’ve launched the £2bn Kickstart Scheme to create hundreds of thousands of new, fully subsidised jobs to ensure nobody is left without hope or opportunity.”