Metro Augusta's unemployment rate decreased to 7.4 percent in November - the lowest rate since November 2008, the Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday.
The rate declined in November primarily because the number of jobs increased and the number of unemployment insurance claims were down, officials said.
Employers in the Augusta area added 700 jobs in November, increasing the number of jobs by 0.3 percent from October. Most of the jobs were added in trade, transportation and warehousing, along with state and local government.
Jobs were up by 0.4 percent from November 2012. The job gainers were in education and healthcare, retail trade, and leisure and hospitality.
The number of new layoffs, represented by initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, decreased by 26.2 percent from October. Claims declined in several sectors, including manufacturing, administrative and support services, and professional and technical services.
Metro Athens had the lowest area jobless rate at 5.1 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 10 percent.
Meanwhile, Georgia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for November was 7.7 percent, down from 8.1 percent in October. The rate was 8.7 percent in November a year ago.