ATLANTA (AP) -- Georgia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 8.4 percent in March, the lowest rate since December 2008.
That is down from 8.6 percent in February, and 9.1 percent in March a year ago.
The new numbers were released Thursday morning by the Georgia Department of Labor.
State labor officials say the rate declined because of an increase in the number of jobs and fewer new layoffs.
"Georgia employers created 23,700 jobs last month, which is one of the best job growth numbers we've had in March for almost a decade," Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said. "The growth was in several industries, led by leisure and hospitality and professional and business services."
The gains came in several industries, led by leisure and hospitality and professional and business services, Butler said.
Additional growth came in trade, transportation and warehousing, 4,400; construction, 2,300; and local government, 1,800, officials said.
Among metro areas, Atlanta saw a 2.4 percent job gain from March 2012 to last month.
Other metro areas with job gains during the period included Athens (1.4 percent); Savannah (1.3 percent); and Brunswick (1.3 percent).
- Budget, Tax & Economy
- Georgia Department of Labor
- unemployment rate