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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 at 5 percent

The Fredericksburg-area jobless rate was at 5 percent in October, according to Virginia Employment Commission data released Wednesday.

That was down from 5.7 percent in October 2011 and was below the region’s five-year average of 5.1 percent. The Fredericksburg area continues to have one of the lowest unemployment rates in Virginia, which itself is among the leaders in the nation.

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

Spotsylvania and Stafford continue to lead the way. Both counties had jobless rates of 4.5 percent in October, tied for 14th-best in Virginia. Nearby Fauquier County was tied for fifth-lowest at 4.2 percent. Arlington County led the way in Virginia at 3.2 percent.

Caroline’s rate improved the most in the Fredericksburg area last month, falling to 6.3 percent from 7.4 percent a year ago.

Fredericksburg’s 8.2 percent rate was the highest in the region, but it was down from 9 percent a year ago. Martinsville had the state’s highest jobless rate at 14.8 percent.

Virginia’s jobless rate was 5.4 percent in October. That tied Montana for 12th-lowest in the U.S., whose rate was 7.5 percent. North Dakota had the lowest rate at 2.4 percent, and Nevada the highest at 10.9 percent.

None of the figures has been adjusted for seasonal factors.

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