As of April, the jobless rate among Koreans aged 15 to 24 stood at 11.2 percent, a 2.5 percentage point increase from 8.7 percent recorded in December last year, according to data from the OECD.
Out of 21 member countries of the OECD, Korea topped the list with the sharpest growth in youth unemployment, followed by Austria and Israel, which reported a 0.3 percentage point increase.
The OECD average dropped 0.5 percentage point to 12.1 percent during the same period.
EU countries saw a 1.4 percentage point fall, while the US recorded a 0.6 percentage point decrease.
Italy saw a dramatic 5.2 percentage point drop in its youth unemployment rate. Ireland and Spain saw declines of 3.9 percentage points and 3.5 percentage points, respectively.
Meanwhile, separate data from Statistics Korea released Wednesday showed that the employment rate declined only in the 20-29 age group in South Korea, reaching 58.8 percent, down 0.5 percentage point from a year ago in May.
The employment rate for the entire economically active population, or those aged 15-64, came to 67 percent, up 0.7 percentage point from the previous year, Statistics Korea said.
By Kim Da-sol (firstname.lastname@example.org)