Employment was up by about 75,000, or 1.92 percent, in the second quarter of this year in relation to the same time last year, according to projected sample data issued by the Labor Inspectorate of the Labor Ministry and cited in a press release yesterday. The number of employees in a sample of 2,309 firms nationwide rose from 280,770 to 286,170. The firms included in the sample are the largest employers in each of the country’s 16 regions and account for 7.3 percent of the total labor force. According to the press release and on the basis of firms’ estimates, the improvement is seen as a confirmation of the beneficial effects of Labor Law 2874/2000, which reduced overtime work. By far the largest relative increase (6.34 percent) in employment was recorded in the 128 enterprises of the sample based in the southern Aegean islands – which tend to report labor shortages – where jobs rose from 6,940 to 7,380. In absolute figures, the largest increase (from 82,760 to 85,790, or 3.66 percent) was accounted for by the 477 enterprises based in the Athens region (excluding Piraeus and the rest of Attica). The sampled firms in Thessaly, Epirus, central and western Greece recorded actual declines in employment. Interest rates in debt auctions are a sign of how easily Turkey will be able to roll over a hefty domestic debt load.