Unemployment in Virginia dropped in August, a fact that officials said reflected the reopening of school and the elimination of many students from the job market.

The state's unemployment rate fell three-tenths of a percentage point to 7.3 percent, much lower than the national unemployment rate of 9.6 percent. Even so, that figure meant that approximately 191,900 Virginians were out of work, according to the Virginia Employment Commission.

The number was down 10,500 from July, when 7.6 percent of the state's work-age population was unemployed.

The lowest unemployment rate was in Northern Virginia, an area no longer generally considered recession-proof but still better off than the rest of the state. The highest unemployment was in the Roanoke area and the Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Portsmouth area.

The employment commission said that most of the students who had been job-hunting since May had dropped out of the job pursuit by the week of Aug. 8, when the figures were collected.

"Many of the adult workers on unpaid leave in July because of factory vacation closings had returned to work by mid-August," according to the commission. The two factors taken together produced the decline.