Rome, September 6 - Benefits paid to Italians laid off by their firms grew in August to 75.3 million hours worth, a 12.4% rise over August of last year, national insurance agency INPS said on Friday. INPS cautioned that the figure for August is less meaningful than other measures due to seasonality and normal slowdown of economic activities. "Ordinary" benefits (CIGO), which are issued to workers of large companies who are laid off or working fewer hours due economic or market forces, fell 23.3% over August 2012, to 8.4 million hours, with industrial sector unemployment payments shrinking by a third and construction sector payments falling 12.9%. "Extraordinary" benefits (CIGAS), issued in cases of business closure, bankruptcy or restructuring, increased by 10.4% compared to the same time last year, from 26.2 million hours to 28.9 million last month. A catch-all third category of benefits (CIGD), which accommodates a requests of small businesses, professional service workers and other cases not covered by CIGO or CIGAS, increased by 27.2% to 28.9 million, compared to 26.2 million in August 2012. From January to August 2013, 704 hours of lay-off pay was authorized, a 0.4% decline over the same period in 2012.