ATLANTA (AP/WAOK) – Georgia’s unemployment rate has dropped to its lowest rate in nearly four years.

State labor officials said Thursday morning that Georgia’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate declined to 8.5 percent in November.

State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said that is the lowest state unemployment rate in nearly four years, since it was 8.5 percent in January 2009.

Butler said the rate dropped because of continued job growth and fewer new layoffs.

Gov. Nathan Deal said in a statement that he’s encouraged by continuing growth in the number of manufacturing jobs in Georgia.

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