ATLANTA (AP) — State labor officials say metro Atlanta’s unemployment rate decreased to 8 percent in August.

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.

Officials say the rate dropped because there was a significant reduction in layoffs and an increase in the number of 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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