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Metro Atlanta’s unemployment rate dipped in August

Metro Atlanta’s unemployment rate dropped in August, after a significant reduction in layoffs and an increase in the number of jobs, the Georgia Department of Labor said.

Officials announced Thursday that the area rate decreased to 8.0 in August, down from 8.6 percent in July and 8.9 percent last August.

In Gwinnett, the number dropped from 7.6 percent in July to 7.1 percent in August, according to the statistics, which were not seasonally adjusted, while the only local cities listed had higher numbers. Duluth’s unemployment rate is 7.5 percent for August, while Lawrenceville’s is 10.2, an increase from July’s 9.7 percent.

For the regional drop, Department of Labor officials said there were 17,563 new layoffs in August, which was 25.9 percent fewer than July.

At the same time, the overall number of jobs increased by 2,800 compared to July, with the increase in education, health services and government jobs offset somewhat by a loss of private sector jobs.

Since August 2012, metro Atlanta has gained 57,100 jobs, a press release said, noting gains in professional and business services, trade and transportation, education and health services, leisure and hospitality and other areas.

As is typical at the end of the summer, when students leave summer jobs to return to school, the labor force declined in August, but the release noted that the labor is up compared to August 2012.

Statewide, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for August was 8.7 percent, which was a slight decrease from July’s 8.8 percent.