Young people should be less choosy when looking for jobs, social workers say.
Hong Kong's unemployment rate rose to 3.4 per cent last month from 3.2 per cent in December.
Jobs were lost mainly in decoration, repair and maintenance of buildings, warehousing and support activities for transport, and the retail sector.
The unemployment rate of those between 15 and 19 years old rose from 10 per cent to 12 per cent.
Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups supervisor Gary Tang Leung-shun said if young people were less choosy, the youth unemployment rate would fall.
'The sales and restaurant sectors are having a hard time finding people to fill positions. But many youths are unwilling to do these jobs because they think the work is too tough and they have to work on holidays and cannot hang out with friends,' Tang said. 'They would rather stay unemployed.'
He warned that unemployment could worsen as the first batch of Diploma of Secondary Education graduates entered the job market.
Competition for positions will be keen, so youths must stay open-minded in their job hunt, he said.