The number of young people unemployed for more than a year has increased almost nine-fold over the past decade, according to a new study.
The TUC said the number of 18 to 24-year-olds out of work had soared by 874%, from 6,260 to 60,955 since 2000, going up by 264% in the last year alone.
Long-term unemployment across all age groups increased by 50%.
The study, ahead of new unemployment figures tomorrow, also showed that youth unemployment had risen by 78% over the same period.
Wages for young people have fallen in real terms since the year 2000, while they have increased for other groups, said the TUC.
Workers aged between 18 and 21 have seen their pay rise by 35%, around 3% less than the rise in inflation, compared with average wage increases of 41%, said the report.
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: "Our young people are already facing a toxic combination of increasing unemployment, high tuition fees and inadequate government support for those people out of work. Now we discover they are at a hugely increased risk of being long-term unemployed and are losing out in the wage stakes as well.
"Now is certainly not the time to be young in the UK, with figures showing more than one million people under 24 are unable to find work and the pay of those in work lagging well behind inflation.
"With a strong recovery still failing to take hold, the bleak prospects facing young workers and young jobseekers is going to be with us for some considerable time to come."
Employment minister Chris Grayling said: "The TUC's use of statistics is just plain wrong.
"Under the previous government the scale of long-term youth unemployment was hidden. People were transferred off Jobseekers Allowance temporarily through training allowances and short-term jobs. We've stopped doing that.
"When this is taken into account, long-term youth unemployment is lower than May 2010. Since then we have put in measures so young people can find real sustainable jobs."
Martina Milburn, chief executive of youth charity the Prince's Trust, said: "Young people with few qualifications and skills are being pushed furthest from the jobs market, and it is these young people who need the most support from employers, charities and the government.
"If we fail to give these vulnerable young people a chance, we will lose thousands of them to an ever-growing dole queue."
The Work Foundation said the government's response to the youth unemployment crisis was "insufficient and fragmented", with responsibilities split across departments and a lack of co-ordination at a national level.
The research group called in a report for a dedicated national unit headed by a minister to tackle youth unemployment.
Dr Neil Lee, the report's author, said: "The government should be addressing youth unemployment as one of its most urgent priorities, yet the response so far has been piecemeal.
"Youth unemployment is a complex issue. To tackle it, we must ensure that young people have the education and skills they need for the labour market, the incentives to get into work and the necessary knowledge of available opportunities.
"It is a particular concern that at present no agency tracks or has responsibility for young people making the onwards transition from school.
"We want to see the government take this issue in hand. Much of the effort needs to be around long-term unemployed young people. Around 264,000 have now been out of work for over 12 months. Co-ordinated action is needed to ensure these young people are given the skills, opportunities and information to enter and progress in the labour market."