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Jan 22, 11:06 AM EST

Georgia unemployment rate falls to 6.9 percent

ATLANTA (AP) -- State labor officials say Georgia's unemployment rate has dropped to 6.9 percent.

The Georgia Department of Labor early Thursday announced the new seasonally adjusted jobless rate for December.

Authorities say the rate is down from 7.2 percent in November and 7.4 percent from a year ago.

State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said Georgia ended the year with the jobless rate dropping below seven percent for the first time since last April.

Butler added that it marks the first time in eight years that Georgia has seen job growth in December.

Georgia's unemployment rate remains higher than the national average, which fell 0.2 points to 5.6 percent in December.

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