SHARECOMMENTMORE

ATLANTA -- The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursdaythat metro Atlanta's unemployment rate decreased to 8.0 percent in August, down six-tenths of a percentage point from 8.6 percent in July. The rate was 8.9 percent in August a year ago.

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

Much of the decline in layoffs came in manufacturing, with additional reductions in construction, administrative and support services, trade, accommodations and food services, and health care and social assistance.

Over-the-year, the number of initial claims was down by 5,433, or 23.6 percent, from 22,996 in August 2012. Reductions were mostly in administrative and support services, construction, manufacturing, trade, accommodations and food services, and health care and social assistance.

Since August 2012, metro Atlanta has gained 57,100 jobs. The gains came in several sectors, including: professional and business services,trade and transportation,and education and health services.

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.

Meanwhile, 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.