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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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Fredericksburg-area jobless rate improves

Stafford, Spotsylvania and Fauquier counties were each among just 19 Virginia localities with a jobless rate under 5 percent in September, according to Virginia Employment Commission data released Tuesday.

Fauquier’s 4.5 percent rate was tied for sixth-lowest of Virginia’s 134 localities. Stafford (4.6 percent) and Spotsylvania (4.7 percent) weren’t far behind. Arlington, at 3.5 percent, had the best rate in Virginia for September.

The Fredericksburg region had a 5.2 percent jobless rate in September, down from 6 percent in September 2011. The local August rate was also 5.2 percent.

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

As usual, the local area had a lower jobless rate than the state as a whole in September. Virginia’s jobless rate was 5.6 percent last month.

That tied with Hawaii for 13th-best in the country. North Dakota, at 2.4 percent, had the lowest rate, while Nevada’s 11.2 percent rate was the nation’s highest.

Nationwide the jobless rate was 7.6 percent last month. None of the figures has been adjusted for seasonal factors.

The city of Fredericksburg’s 8.2 percent rate was the region’s highest in September, but it was down from 9.5 percent a year ago. Martinsville had the state’s highest jobless rate at 14.9 percent.

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