The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday that Metro Savannah’s unemployment rate for August was 5.6 percent, down 0.5 percentage point from 6.1 percent in July.
The rate in August 2014 was 7.6 percent.
The rate declined as employers created more jobs, and new layoffs, as measured by initial unemployment insurance claims, decreased.
The number of jobs in Metro Savannah, which the U.S. Census Bureau defines as Bryan, Chatham and Effingham counties, increased by 200, or 0.1 percent, in August to 170,900.
The job gains came mostly in retail trade, local government, as local school system employees returned from the summer recess, and education and health services.
Over the year, Metro Savannah gained 3,800 jobs, a growth rate of 2.3 percent, from 167,100 in August 2014.
Most of the job growth came in professional and business services and trade, transportation and warehousing.
Also, the number of initial claims for unemployment insurance declined by 81, or 8.7 percent, to 851 in August.
Most of the decrease came in accommodations and food services and manufacturing. Over the year, claims were down by 227, or 21.1 percent, from 1,078 in August 2014.
In the Coastal Georgia region, a 10-county area that includes Bryan County, the August unemployment rate was 5.9 percent, down 0.5 percentage point from 6.4 percent in July. The rate in August 2014 was 7.8 percent.
The region’s rate declined as the number of unemployed residents decreased by 1,763 to 18,080. Also, the number of initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased by 246, or 14.4 percent, to 1,458 in August.
Most of the decrease came in manufacturing, accommodations and food services, and administrative and support services. Over the year, claims were down by 226, or 13.4 percent, from 1,684 in August 2014.
Metro Gainesville had the state’s lowest area jobless rate at 4.8 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 7.7 percent.
Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for August was 5.9 percent, down from 6.0 percent in July. It was 7.1 percent in August 2014.