GENEVA -- The U.N.'s labor office says youth unemployment is likely to rise globally to 12.9 percent by 2017 as more young people leave the work force and the euro crisis spreads to emerging economies.

The current rate of unemployment among youths aged 15 to 24 is 12.7 percent globally.

An International Labor Office report Tuesday said the highest regional rate – above 25 percent – is expected to remain in North Africa and the Middle East.

However, Ekkehard Ernst, the report's lead author, said that large numbers of young people also are expected to completely give up looking for work.

That means the actual number of youths who count as "unemployed" is expected to fall globally from 74 million in 2012 to 73 million in 2017.

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  • 10. Nepal (46.00)

    (PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/GettyImages)

  • 9. Senegal (48.00)

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  • 8. Namibia (51.20)

    (AFP PHOTO / STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN)

  • 7. Djibouti (59.00)

    (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

  • 6. Cocos (Keeling) Islands (60.00)

    (PATRICK LIN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • 5. Turkmenistan (60.00)

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  • 4. Burkina Faso (77.00)

    (RAPHAEL DE BENGY/AFP/Getty Images)

  • 3. Liberia (85.00)

    (ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images

  • 2. Nauru (90.00)

    (TORSTEN BLACKWOOD/AFP/Getty Images)

  • 1. Zimbabwe: 95.00

    (DESMOND KWANDE/AFP/Getty Images)