RICHMOND, Va. (AP) â¿¿ Virginia's jobless rate fell slightly in October after remaining steady for three consecutive months.

The Virginia Employment Commission says the state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 5.7 percent last month, down from 5.9 percent in September and 6.2 percent a year ago. In October, the number of unemployed Virginians decreased and the labor force increased.

Virginia's unemployment rate has been trending down since January 2010, when joblessness peaked at 7.3 percent. The rate had fallen to a three-year low earlier this year and increased during June and July in a pattern similar to last year.

The rate is still below the national average, which rose to 7.9 percent in October. The Labor Department says rates fell in 37 states and Washington, rose in seven and were unchanged in six.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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