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ATLANTA-- Georgia labor officials say metro Atlanta's unemployment rate dropped to 8.4 percent in September.

That's down four-tenths of a percentage point from a revised 8.8 percent in August.

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

Labor officials say the jobless rate declined primarily because of 4,446 fewer layoffs in manufacturing, construction, trade, administrative and support services, and accommodations and food services. Also, 31,606 more people were employed.

Among other Georgia metro areas, the Athens area continued to have the lowest area jobless rate at 6.4 percent. The Dalton area had the highest at 11.2 percent.

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