The number of jobless people worldwide rose by more than four million in 2012, reflecting the economic downturn - particularly in developed countries, the United Nations' labour agency warns.
A report by the International Labour Organisation shows global unemployment now stands at 197 million people, an increase of 4.2 million on the previous year.
Almost 6% of the world's workforce is without a job.
More worrying still are the figures for those aged under 24, where 12.6% or 1 in every 8 young jobseekers are unemployed, the BBC reports.
"This is a massive waste of the lives of young people and their talents and extraordinarily damaging to the people themselves and their societies, even if stability were not to be affected, ILO director-general Guy Ryder said.
The report also reveals that long-term unemployment is growing, with over a third of Europe's jobless have been without work for over a year.
Many were giving up, with the report estimating that 39 million people had withdrawn from the labour market.