Employers in metro Atlanta stepped up hiring in October — partly for the holidays — pushing down the area’s unemployment rate to 8.2 percent, from 8.3 percent in September, the state labor department said Thursday.
There was an increase of 19,500 new jobs in metro Atlanta in October, which boosted the total number of jobs by 0.8 percent from September.
The growth came in a wide variety of industries. Retail gained 5,900 jobs; professional, scientific, and technical services was up 2,800; education and health care — up 2,600; accommodations and food services — up 2,200; local government — up 2,200; technology — up 1,400; construction — up 1,200; and financial services — up 800.
Metro Atlanta’s jobless rate has fallen from 9.4 percent a year ago, as the number of jobs increased by 33,700, or 1.5 percent.
In the core metro areas, Clayton County had the highest unemployment rate at 10.5 percent. It was followed by Fulton at 9 percent, DeKalb (8.8 percent), Cobb (7.5 percent) and Gwinnett (7.3 percent).
Statewide, metro Athens continued to have the lowest area jobless rate at 6.2 percent, while metro Dalton had the highest at 11.3 percent.
Last week, the labor department said Georgia’s unemployment rate declined to 8.7 percent in October, from 9 percent in September. The jobless rate was 9.7 percent a year ago.
Statewide, the number of jobs increased by 36,000, or 0.9 percent, from September to October. Over the past year, Georgia gained 68,000 jobs, or 1.7 percent, from October 2011.
Still, the unemployment rates for Georgia and metro Atlanta trail the national rate, currently 7.9 percent.