SACRAMENTO, Calif. -

California's unemployment rate fell to 8.6 percent in May, marking the first time in nearly five years the jobless rate has dipped below 9 percent.

The state Employment Development Department reported Friday a decrease of 0.4 percentage points from 9 percent in the previous month. The drop in May puts California's unemployment rate at the lowest level since November 2008.

California's rate continues to remain above the national average of 7.6 percent.

State officials reported a non-farm jobs gain of 10,800 during May for a total gain of more than 767,000 since the economy began to rebound in February 2010.

Roughly 1.6 million Californians remain unemployed, down 364,000 from May of last year.