THE number of people employed in Scotland fell by 15,000 between April and June as the impact of lockdown hit, the latest figures show.

The proportion of people aged 16 to 64 in employment fell over the quarter to 74.3% (2.651 million), data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) indicates. The unemployment rate rose over that period to 4.5% with 124,000 people out of work, while the same figure across the UK was 3.9%.

Scotland's previous unemployment rate, recorded between March and May, was 4.3%.

The number of people aged over 16 in employment in Scotland fell by 15,000 over the quarter while the number of people out of work rose by 11,000.

READ MORE: Unemployment in Scotland increases as impact of lockdown is felt

Business Minister Jamie Hepburn said: "For the period April to June 2020, Scotland's employment rate estimate fell over the quarter to 74.3% and the unemployment rate estimate rose over the quarter to 4.5%.

"These statistics cover a full three months of lockdown measures before some businesses started to re-open, but still do not reflect the full impact of the pandemic on the labour market as the Job Retention Scheme is continuing to help support many people remain in employment.

"We continue to call on the UK Government to extend the Job Retention Scheme, particularly for those hardest-hit sectors, for example travel, tourism and hospitality, which face significant long-term challenges likely to remain when the scheme ends in October.

"We have provided a package of support to businesses that totals over £2.3 billion to keep companies in business and people in jobs. This provides long-term certainty for those affected by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

"However, we also need to ensure support for those who have already lost, or are at risk of losing, their job, and those looking for work and have already committed a further £100 million for employability and training support."

Hepburn also announced £10m for a range of measures to recruit and retain apprentices.