Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman says projections for rising global unemployment over the next two years are "alarming" and the U.N. chief will keep pushing for job opportunities, especially for youth.

The comments from deputy spokesman Farhan Haq on Wednesday were in response to a new report from the U.N. labor agency projecting that the number of unemployed people will increase by nearly 2.3 million in 2016 and 1.1 million in 2017 as a result of the global economic slowdown last year.

Haq said Ban has been raising the need for new jobs in discussions with business leaders and others at this weeks' World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

According to the International Labor Organization's report, the increase in jobseekers in 2015 occurred mainly in emerging and developing countries.