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Area’s jobless numbers rose in May

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The Fredericksburg area’s jobless rate climbed back above 5 percent in May, according to Virginia Employment Commission data released Wednesday. The regional rate was 5.1 percent, up from 4.9 percent in April, when it sank to its lowest level since November of 2008.

Five years ago, in May of 2007, the area’s unemployment rate was 2.6 percent. In May of 2002, it was 3.2 percent.

The Fredericksburg area comprises the city and Caroline, King George, Stafford and Spotsylvania counties.

The region was tied for third-lowest unemployment among 21 planning regions in Virginia. Northern Virginia (3.9 percent) had the lowest, while Southside (9.0 percent) had the highest.

Stafford and Spotsylvania had the lowest jobless rates in the region, at 4.5 percent and 4.6 percent, respectively. Stafford was tied for 10th-best among 134 state localities.

Spotsylvania was tied for 13th. Fauquier County, at 4.4 percent, was tied for sixth.

Fredericksburg’s unemployment rate for May was 8.3 percent, up from 8.0 percent in April.

Arlington County had the lowest unemployment in the state (3.3 percent), while Martinsville (14.4 percent) ranked last.

None of the figures for localities was adjusted for seasonal factors.

Virginia had the 10th-lowest unemployment in the nation in May (5.5 percent). North Dakota was first, at 2.7 percent, and Nevada was last, at 11.6.

The national rate was 7.9 percent last month, 8.2 percent seasonally adjusted.

Howard Owen: 540/374-5539