RICHMOND (AP) -- Virginia government ended its last fiscal year with a surplus of nearly $600 million, the largest in eight years.

A little less than half of that -- $264 million came from greater-than-expected tax collections.

Gov. Bob McDonnell told the Joint Money Committees in Richmond on Monday that there were $320 million in savings added to the revenue surplus.

That allows for a deposit into the state emergency reserve fund that will boost it to nearly $1 billion. That's its highest level in six years.

The governor said, 'Our good performance on the revenue front is concrete evidence of the Commonwealth's improving jobs picture, real estate market, and overall economic conditions. Virginia has created 172,600 net new jobs since February 2010. Over 90% of those jobs are in the private sector. Virginia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has declined from 7.4% in February 2010 to 5.5% today. Our unemployment rate is the lowest rate in the Southeast, and well below the rates of our neighboring states. It is the third lowest state unemployment rate east of the Mississippi.'

Click here to read Gov. McDonnell's full speech.

AP-WF-08-19-13 1355GMT

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