Some 720,000 young people were unemployed as of last year, the Bank of Korea said in a report Tuesday.
The number of NEETs -- unemployed people between 15 and 29 who are not in education, employment or training -- first surpassed 600,000 in 2006 and reached 700,000 in 2010.
The proportion of employed young people in Korea is significantly smaller than in advanced countries, according to the report. Employment among young people in Korea was just 40.4 percent last year putting the country 29th out of the 32 OECD member nations. In the U.S., the rate stood at 55.7 percent and in Japan at 53.7 percent. The OECD average was 50.9 percent.
According to International Labor Organization data in May, 19.2 percent of young Koreans fell into the NEET category, which is the seventh highest rate among OECD member countries.