Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said it was a significant drop from December 2012.
“This time last year the unemployment rate was 8.4 percent,” he said in a statement.
The rate dropped primarily because 11,192 more Atlanta residents were employed in December, mostly due to seasonal hiring in retail trade, transportation and warehousing.
“Mostly it had to do with the fact that we saw the Atlanta area increase in jobs,” Butler said. “We saw several sectors do very well – trade, transportation, utilities, financial activities and manufacturing all gained jobs last month.”
The number of jobs in metro Atlanta at 2,450,900 is the highest since May 2008.
“If you take a look at comparing this year to the same time last year, there’s almost 59,000 more jobs in the Atlanta area and the good news is those jobs are spread out through most of the major sectors,” he said.
Butler said he is encouraged by the trend.
“We’ve seen a very interesting year; there were ups and downs but we will see improvement,” he said. “Employers are continuing to head in the right direction and more Georgians are going to be going back to work.”
Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for December was 7.4 percent, down from 7.6 percent in November and 8.7 percent in December 2012.
About 500 more Henry County residents went to work, driving the county’s unemployment rate down to 6.9 percent.
The figure is down from 7.1 percent in November and almost two points below the December 2012 rate of 8.7 percent.
Stockbridge still lags the metro and state rates at 9.5 percent, but has improved since November’s 10.1 percent unemployment and is down from 10.8 in December 2012.
About 100 fewer residents were jobless in December 2013 than in November.
In neighboring counties, the rates were DeKalb, 7.2 percent; Rockdale, 7.8 percent; Newton, 7.9 percent; Butts, 7.6 percent; Spalding, 9.0 percent and Clayton, 8.7 percent.
Statewide, Oconee County had the lowest jobless rate at 3.8 percent, while Telfair County in south Georgia had the highest at 16.1 percent.
Labor department spokesman Sam Hall said in a statement the metro Atlanta increase in jobs represented a 2.5 percent hike year-over-year.