Summit County’s jobless rate last month fell to its lowest level since late 2008.

The county’s rate dropped to 6.5 percent in August, the lowest since November 2008, when the rate also was 6.5 percent, according to figures released Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services. The Summit County rate was 6.9 percent in July and 8.3 percent in August 2011.

Unemployment rates also were down in Akron and Cuyahoga Falls, according to the report.

Akron’s jobless rate dropped to 7.3 percent from 7.7 percent in July. The rate was 9.3 percent a year ago.

In Cuyahoga Falls, the rate dropped to 6.1 percent from 6.6 percent in July and 7.6 percent in August 2011.

The comparable rate for Ohio was 6.8 percent. That’s down from 7.4 percent in July and 8.5 percent a year ago.

The statewide jobless figures show that even as rates have dropped this year and while there has been job growth, there remain significantly fewer people at work in Ohio now than in the recent past. People who are out of work are counted as unemployed only if they’re looking for a job.

The national rate ticked down from 8.3 percent in July to 8.1 percent in August, on a seasonally adjusted basis, as surveys said more people stopped searching for jobs. The adjusted U.S. rate for August 2011 was 9.1 percent.

In Summit and Portage counties — known as the Akron Metropolitan Statistical Area — manufacturing gained 700 jobs from July to August, according to state data that is not adjusted for seasonal variations.

Construction, mining and logging gained 300 jobs from July to August. This makes for a total of 56,800 jobs in goods-producing industries last month in Summit and Portage.

Meanwhile, service-sector employment fell by 1,100 jobs in the two counties, bringing the total nonfarm employment to 323,100, according to the state.

In Summit County alone, there were 265,200 people working last month, up from 264,900 in July and 260,700 in August 2011. There were 18,500 people counted as unemployed last month, down from 19,800 in July and down from 23,700 a year ago.

Elsewhere in Northeast Ohio:

• Cuyahoga County had an unemployment rate of 7.3 percent, down from 7.7 percent in July and 8.4 percent a year ago.

• Cleveland’s jobless rate was 9.4 percent last month, down from 9.9 percent in July and 10.9 percent in August 2011.

• Stark County’s rate declined to 6.8 percent last month, down from 7.3 percent in July and 9 percent a year ago.

• Portage County’s rate fell to 6 percent, down from 6.8 percent in July and 8 percent in August 2011.

• Medina County’s rate dropped to 5.7 percent, down from 6 percent in July and 6.5 percent a year earlier.

• Wayne County’s rate ticked down to 5.9 percent. The rate was 6.3 percent in July and 7.5 percent in August 2011.

Rates fell in 83 of the state’s 88 counties. Unemployment rates in the state ranged from a low of 4.1 percent in rural Mercer County, bordering Indiana, to a high of 12.1 percent in southern Ohio’s Pike County.

Eight counties had unemployment rates at or below 5.5 percent in August. There were five counties where the rate was above 10 percent last month.

Katie Byard can be reached at 330-996-3781 or by email at kbyard@thebeaconjournal.com.