The joint analysis was carried out by the Scottish Government and the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC).
It reveals increasing levels of employment for both men and women, and falling youth unemployment, although this still remains higher than the average rates before the 2008 recession began.
The study also shows an increase in the number of self-employed people, up 33,200 between 2008 and 2012, and a rise in temporary workers, up by 32,000 since 2008.
Meanwhile, earnings have fallen in real terms by 8.1 per cent since 2009.
Finance Secretary John Swinney said: “In the week where we mark another significant rise in employment, with an increase of 47,000 people in work across Scotland, this research gives us a better understanding of just how well Scotland is doing in terms of employment as well as identifying areas where we have work to do.
“Our joint analysis of labour market statistics show that Scotland is leading the way when it comes to youth employment and meeting Modern Apprenticeship targets, with 96 per cent of employers reporting that Modern Apprenticeship completers are better able to do their job.”
He added: “We realise that there is still lots to be done and this research is crucial in revealing which areas of society need the most help in terms of employment.”
Stephen Boyd, assistant secretary of STUC, said: “The STUC welcomes publication of this research, which is presented in a much more accessible fashion than usual labour market statistical releases.
“This will help ensure the public is better informed about the true state of the labour market.
“While the research correctly describes the recent improvement in the Scottish labour market, it also draws attention to trends that are often overlooked such as high under-employment and falling real wages.
“We look forward to further joint publications in the future.”