HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Montana's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell one-tenth of a percentage point to 5.7 percent in December, a rate the state hasn't seen in nearly four years.

The state's unemployment rate has been on a downward trend since mid-2011, when it was at 7 percent. The national unemployment rate held steady at 7.8 percent in December.

Labor Commissioner Pam Bucy says Montana is starting 2013 with a strong economy that has been adding jobs and gaining wages for two years. She says she expects the state to continue to have a lower unemployment rate than the national average.

Montana's total employment increased by 201 jobs in December to 510,078. The total employment was an increase of over 7,000 jobs compared to December 2011.

The last time Montana's unemployment rate was 5.7 percent was April 2009.