WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ The unemployment rate in the nation's capital has dropped to 8.5 percent, its lowest since January 2009. The Labor Department released state unemployment figures for October on Tuesday. The District of Columbia's rate dropped from 8.7 percent in September. It has fallen in eight consecutive months. In the past year, unemployment in the district has dropped by nearly two percentage points â¿¿ outpacing the national rate, which has dropped by one percentage point. The national rate is now 7.9 percent. Labor Department statistics show a net increase of 4,100 jobs in the district since September. Nationwide, 37 states saw lower unemployment rates thanks to an increase in hiring. Mayor Vincent Gray says he's pleased by the drop but there are still too many residents who struggle to find jobs.