Metro Atlanta jobless rate drops to 8 percent

ATLANTA (AP) — Metro Atlanta's unemployment rate decreased to 8 percent in August, Georgia labor officials said.

That's down from 8.6 percent in July and 8.9 percent in August a year ago.

The Georgia Department of Labor announced the new figure early Thursday morning.

The rate dropped because there was a significant reduction in layoffs and an increase in the number of jobs, officials said.

Metro Atlanta has gained 57,100 jobs since August 2012, state officials said. Those gains came in several sectors of the economy, including: professional and business services, 14,800; trade and transportation, 13,100; education and health services, 11,900; leisure and hospitality, 9,400; construction, 8,100; information services, 3,800; and financial services, 2,300. Government lost 4,200 jobs.

Elsewhere in Georgia, metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 6.1 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 11.9 percent.

The local area unemployment data are not seasonally adjusted.

Statewide, Georgia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for August was 8.7 percent, down from 8.8 percent in July. The rate was 9.0 percent in August a year ago.

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