The U.N. labor office says it expects 12.7 percent of youth globally to be unemployed in 2012 and the rate to remain "at the same high level" at least four more years.

The International Labor Organization says nearly 75 million of those aged 15 to 24 are unemployed worldwide, up more than 4 million from 2007.

The Geneva-based U.N. agency said in a report Tuesday that the youth unemployment rate, which stood at 12.6 percent in 2011, has "remained close to its crisis peak in 2009" at the height of the global financial crisis.

But the agency says the rate masks another 6.4 million youth who have effectively given up finding work because of the economic woes, and factoring in those youth would push the 2011 rate up to 13.6 percent.