LANSING, Mich. -

Michigan officials say the state's unemployment rate fell sharply again in the latest month to 9.3 percent, the lowest level in more than three years.

The state said Wednesday that December's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down 0.5 percentage points from November's 9.8 percent and down 1.3 points from October.

The national unemployment rate was 8.5 percent in December.

The Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives says the number of Michigan residents working rose for the fourth straight month in December. Meanwhile, the size of the civilian labor force continued a drop that saw 100,000 fewer people working or looking for work last month than one year earlier.

The last time the Michigan unemployment rate was lower was September 2008, when it stood at 8.9 percent.