Almost half of Ireland's young adults were out of work in April last year, new figures have revealed.
Four in 10 under-25s were unemployed when the last Census was recorded, up from 47,122 in 2006 to 82,000.
The figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed the crisis was worst in Limerick city and Donegal, with rates of 50% and 49% respectively.
Young people's network Youth Work Ireland has argued that more needs to be done to help young people into work and to keep them occupied while on the dole.
Spokesman Michael McLoughlin said while the Government cannot "magic up jobs", new schemes for education, training or work experience should be introduced to give young people something to do with their time.
He added: "It must be hugely demoralising for a young person entering the workforce to go straight on to the dole. That's a very negative way to start life. We're prepared to go with the Government and be flexible, even with its more controversial schemes like national internships.
"We want to see a linkage between qualification and experience. We don't want to see someone with a degree in science or architecture stacking shelves."
Mr McLoughlin called for the Government to address youth unemployment in its own right and not as an add-on to the overall unemployment crisis.
The CSO figures found there was 70% unemployment among people with no education past primary level, compared with 18% of those with third-level qualifications.
Nearly half of those unemployed - 34,166 of the total 82,000 - were first-time jobseekers. This represented a 16% hike in the number of out-of-work young people in search of their first regular job since 2006.