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Georgia’s unemployment rate dipped to 8.5 percent last month — the lowest rate in nearly four years — as truckers, engineers, lawyers and factory workers found work, particularly in metro Atlanta.

While the state jobless rate remains stubbornly higher than the national average of 7.7 percent, unemployed Georgians can take some solace that, finally, employers are hiring more and firing less. Georgia added 61,900 jobs over the last year, handily outpacing the job-growth predictions of some of the state’s most respected economists.

And the breadth of the jobs recovery is significant considering the depth of the Great Recession and its continued impact on consumer confidence and corporate spending.