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Lindley Estes is a business writer for The Free Lance-Star and This blog is on Fredericksburg-area business. Send an e-mail to Lindley Estes.

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Local jobless rate falls under 5 percent

Quantico Corporate Center

The Fredericksburg area’s jobless rate fell below 5 percent in April for the first time since November 2008.

The Fredericksburg regional unemployment rate was 4.9 percent in April, down from 5.6 percent for the same month in 2011 and 5.4 percent in March.

The jobless rate in April was below the region’s five-year annual average of 5.1 percent, according to Virginia Employment Commission data released Wednesday.

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

As usual the region’s two largest localities, Spotsylvania and Stafford, drove the overall rate lower.

Stafford had a 4.3 percent jobless rate in April, while Spotsylvania’s was 4.4 percent. Both were among the 10-best rates of all the state’s localities.

Arlington County, at 3.1 percent, had Virginia’s lowest jobless rate. Fairfax and Loudoun counties both had rates under 4 percent in April.

Statewide, the jobless rate was at 5.4 percent in April, which was ninth-best in the U.S. North Dakota had the lowest rate at 3.1 percent. The national rate was 7.7 percent that month.

None of the figures has been adjusted for seasonal factors.

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