Virginia unemployment rate continues to drop

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's unemployment rate continues to fall and remains below the national average.

The Virginia Employment Commission says Virginia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 5.7% in February is the lowest rate since January 2009. That's down slightly from January and 0.6%age points lower than a year ago.

Virginia's jobless rate has been decreasing since peaking at 7.3% in January 2010, but had risen slightly from July through September last year.

Officials say nonfarm employment increased by 9,000 jobs in February.

Virginia's rate is still below the national average, which remained at 8.3% in February after five straight monthly declines.

The Labor Department says unemployment rates declined in 29 states and rose in 8. Rates were unchanged in 13 states and the District of Columbia.

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