The unemployment rate stood at 4.5 percent last month, up 0.4 percentage point from a year earlier, according to the report compiled by Statistics Korea.
The seasonally adjusted jobless rate also rose to 4 percent in March, from 3.6 percent a year earlier, the data showed.
The number of employed people reached 26.55 million in March, up 112,000 from a year earlier, slightly rising from the previous month's jump of 104,000, according to the report compiled by Statistics Korea.
The unemployment rate for young adults -- those aged between 15 and 29 -- was 11.6 percent, compared with 11.3 percent a year earlier.
The employment rate remained unchanged at 66.1 percent from a year earlier, with the corresponding figure for young people at 42 percent, up 0.6 percentage point over the cited period.
The jobless rate for young adults marked the highest in two years for the month of March, the data showed.
Early this month, the government proposed a 3.9 trillion-won ($3.69 billion) extra budget largely to create new jobs for young people, amid deepening concerns about high unemployment, which the government warned would have catastrophic consequences.
The government hopes that with the pledged support, the nation's youth unemployment could fall below 8 percent by 2021 and upwards of 220,000 jobs could be newly added through 2021.
Seoul's push comes as President Moon Jae-in has called for all-out efforts to create new quality jobs for young people and warned that the high jobless numbers among young adults is a national disaster.
The proposed extra budget is the second of its kind under the incumbent administration. Last year, the government created a 11 trillion-won supplementary budget that focused on creating more quality jobs.(Yonhap)