Virginia's May unemployment rises to 5.1 percent; still below national average

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RICHMOND, Virginia — The Virginia Employment Commission says the state's jobless rate rose slightly to 5.1 percent in May.

The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is up from 4.9 percent in April and down from 5.6 percent a year ago.

Virginia's jobless rate rose in May after holding steady at 4.9 percent for the previous three months. It had reached its lowest rate in February since November 2008.

Officials say the labor force expanded for the fifth consecutive month as more people reported that they were working and additional individuals reported they were seeking work.

The Labor Department says unemployment rates dropped in 20 states, rose in 16 and was unchanged in 14, as the nation posted a fourth straight month of solid hiring.

The national unemployment rate was 6.3 percent in May.

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