SNP ministers slapped down for blaming ailing economy on Brexit
The Scottish Government was accused of making "pathetic excuses" for presiding over a slump that started well before June's EU poll.
It follows official figures which revealed that unemployment soared by 11,000 between September and November last year to 139,000.
The number of Scots in work over the period also plunged by 14,000 but unemployment across the UK dropped to its lowest level for more than a decade.
Scotland's unemployment rate now stands at 5.1 per cent above that of the 4..8 per cent for UK as whole.
Economy Secretary Keith Brown blamed "uncertainty" in the wake of last year's referendum
While these are the first data we have about the overall performance of the Scottish economy since the vote on June 23, Scotland's economic challenges and under-performance predate that vote
There was some positive news in the figures, with youth unemployment falling by 3.6 percentage points over the past year to 9.4 per cent.
But separate figures also showed the sluggish economy still lagging behind the UK, growing at a third of the rate.
Growth increased by just to 0.2 per cent in the three months to September. This is compared with 0.6 per cent growth across the UK as a whole.
On an annual basis, GDP grew by 0.7 per cent, compared with 2.2 per cent across the UK.
Mr Fraser hit out at the recent draft Budget for failing to support firms and families
The "grim" statistics sparked calls for the Scottish Government to drop talk of independence and use its new powers to revive the economy.
But Economy Secretary Keith Brown blamed "uncertainty" in the wake of last year's referendum.
Employability Minister Jamie Hepburn added: "Despite the strong performance of the youth labour market, the Brexit vote caused significant economic uncertainty, threatening our economic recovery and the stability of our jobs market."
But Graeme Roy, director of the Fraser of Allander Institute think-tank, said: "While some may try to infer something about the economic consequences of the Brexit vote from today's news, we would urge caution.
"While these are the first data we have about the overall performance of the Scottish economy since the vote on June 23, Scotland's economic challenges and under-performance predate that vote."
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Scottish Tory finance spokesman Murdo Fraser hit out at the recent draft Budget for failing to support firms and families.
He added: "It is a pathetic excuse from a government which appears to have given up focusing on the day job.
"Scotland has had enough of the excuses and the grievance from the SNP – it is time it finally took responsibility and used the huge new powers at its disposal."
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said there were 2.6 million people employed in Scotland.
Across the UK as a whole, unemployment fell by 52,000 to 1.6 million with the jobless rate at an 11-year low, the ONS said.
Scotland had the second highest employment rate of the home nations at 73.4 per cent – but it is below the UK average of 74.5 per cent.
The number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance in Scotland fell 1,100 to 52,700 in December, which was down by 11,200 on the same month of 2015.
But "economic inactivity" – covering those who are not seeking or available to work – rose by 6,000 over the quarter.
Scottish Secretary David Mundell said the statistics painted a "worrying picture".
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He added: "The UK Government has devolved a raft of new powers to Holyrood, agreed a fair financial settlement as a strong foundation, and delivered £800 million of extra investment for the Scottish Government to spend.
"The Scottish Government now needs to use all of these powers to secure and strengthen Scotland's economy".
Mr Hepburn said unemployment had fallen over the past year and the country was performing "strongly" on youth labour.
He added: "Scotland is also leading the UK in terms of the proportion of young people currently in work, which is testament to the effectiveness of our youth employment strategy, 'Developing the Young Workforce', and our commitment to support Modern Apprentices, providing 30,000 places by 2020."