- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 28, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) - Unemployment in the District of Columbia has fallen to its lowest rate since December 2008.

The Labor Department said Tuesday that the district’s unemployment rate was 8.1 percent in December, down from 8.6 percent in November.

Nationwide, unemployment in December stood at 6.7 percent, the lowest in more than five years. But the decline occurred mostly because more people stopped looking for work. The government only counts people as unemployed if they are actively searching for jobs.

The district has also seen people drop out of the labor force in the past year. The number of unemployed residents has declined, but so has the number of jobs - even as the district has added 1,000 new residents a month.