The UN's labour office said that youth unemployment is likely to rise globally to 12.8% by 2018, wiping out gains made in the recent economic recovery.
A report by the International Labour Organisation said the rate of unemployment among people aged 15 to 24 was 12.4% globally in 2012, up from 12.3% in 2011.
It said that rate is expected to climb to 12.6% in 2013 - with an estimated 73.4 million young people out of work - as more of them leave the work force or give up looking for work.
The highest regional rates in 2012 were 28.3% in the Middle East and 23.7% in North Africa. The lowest rates were South Asia, with 9.3%, and East Asia at 9.5%.