Greece’s unemployment rate rose to 7.4 percent in September from 7.1 percent in the previous month, the National Statistics Service (NSS) said yesterday. NSS data showed there were about 363,869 people officially unemployed in September, while an estimated 4.55 million had jobs. Unemployment in the 15 nations that have adopted the euro held steady in September at 7.5 percent of the work force. Economists see Greece’s jobless figure creeping higher by the end of the year as the economy slows due to the downturn in global economic conditions. «Employment is likely to worsen in the last quarter of the year, reflecting the downturn in construction and retail trade and the weakening tourism sector,» economist Nikos Magginas at National Bank told Reuters. The government projects unemployment will average 7.5 percent in 2009, unchanged from this year. However, the OECD recently predicted the jobless rate will rise 8 percent next year. Despite the fall in recent years, joblessness remains high for younger people – 24.3 percent for those in the 15-24 age group in September and 10 percent for those aged 25 to 34. Unemployment continued to affect women more than men. In September, unemployment among women stood at 10.7 percent, compared with 5.1 percent for men.