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Jobless rate in metro Gainesville falls to 6.6 percent
Decline from July attributed to more jobs, fewer layoffs
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The end of summer has brought a big drop in metro Gainesville's unemployment rate, down almost a full percentage point to 6.6 percent.

The jobless rate in Hall County fell nine-tenths of a percentage point in August from 7.5 percent in July, the Georgia Department of Labor announced today. The rate was also 7.5 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, DOL reports.

There were 676 new layoffs, represented by initial claims for unemployment insurance. That’s 293, or 30.2 percent, fewer than the 969 in July. Much of the decline came in manufacturing, with additional reductions in administrative and support services.

Over the year, the number of initial claims was up by 73, or 12.1 percent, from 603 in August 2012. Increases were mostly in manufacturing.

There were 76,300 jobs in metro Gainesville in August, up by 1,000, or 1.3 percent, from 75,300 in July. The increase came mostly in professional and business services, education and health care, leisure and hospitality, and financial and information services.

Metro Gainesville also added 1,000 jobs since August 2012 when there were also 75,300. The annual increases came mostly in the same industries as the monthly increases.

The labor force, which is the number of people employed plus those unemployed but actively looking for work, declined by 788 to 90,428 in August, down from 91,216 in July. And, it was also down by 720 from 91,148 in August 2012.

Unemployment in the Northeast Georgia region dropped to 7 percent, down from 7.8 in July. Statewide, 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. Metro Atlanta’s jobless rate is 8 percent, down from 8.6 percent.

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.