Polk County's unemployment rate is down slightly for the month of August according to figures released by the Georgia Department of Labor this morning.

The August rate was at 5.7 percent, down six-tenths of a point from the revised 6.3 percent reported on July 2016. Last year, the rate was at 6.5 percent.

The unemployment rate in the Northwest Georgia region in August was 5.2 percent, down four-tenths of a percentage point from 5.6 percent in July.

The rate fell as employers laid off fewer workers. The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance declined by 1,838, or 41.9 percent, to 2,552 in August. Most of the decrease came in manufacturing and administrative and support services, which includes temporary staffing agencies. Over the year, claims were up by 340, or 15.4 percent, from 2,212 in August 2015.

Also, the labor force in the Northwest Georgia region, which consists of employed residents and those who are unemployed, but actively looking for jobs, declined by 4,155 to 405,522 in August. The number of employed residents decreased by 2,370 to 384,317, while the number of unemployed fell by 1,785 to 21,205.

Metro Gainesville had the lowest area jobless rate at 4.4 percent, while the Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 6.6 percent.

Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for August was 4.9 percent, down from 5 percent in July. It was 5.6 percent in August 2015.