ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Labor announced today that 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.
There were 17,563 new layoffs, represented by initial claims for unemployment insurance, which are 6,137, or 25.9 percent, fewer than in July. Much of the decline 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.
There were 2,415,900 jobs in metro Atlanta in August, up by 2,800 from July. Education and health services added 4,500 jobs, led primarily by gains in social assistance, while government added 4,400, as non-contract education workers returned to the public schools after the summer vacation. However, the gains were offset somewhat by the loss of 3,000 private sector jobs, mostly in professional and business services.
Since August 2012, metro Atlanta has gained 57,100 jobs. The gains came in several sectors, including: professional and business services, 14,800; trade and transportation, 13,100; education and health services, 11,900; leisure and hospitality, 9,400; construction, 8,100; information services, 3,800; and financial services, 2,300. Government lost 4,200 jobs.
The labor force, which is the number of people employed plus those unemployed but actively looking for work, declined by 41,309 to 2,737,562 in August, down from 2,778,871 in July. A seasonal decline usually occurs in August, as students leave summer jobs to return to school. However, the labor force was up by 5,492 from 2,732,070 in August 2012.
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.
Local area unemployment data are not seasonally adjusted. Georgia labor market data are available at www.dol.state.ga.us