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

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Region’s jobless rate at 5.3 percent

The Fredericksburg-area unemployment rate was 5.3 percent in May, down slightly from a year ago but up from 4.7 percent in April.

Rates rose in most Virginia localities between April and May. The data aren’t adjusted for seasonal factors, and the spike could reflect more students entering the labor market for the summer.

Spotsylvania County, at 4.8 percent, had the region’s lowest jobless rate in May, followed by Stafford (4.9 percent), King George (6.4 percent), Caroline (6.5 percent) and Fredericksburg (7.7 percent).

The region continued to outperform Virginia, which had a 5.6 percent rate in May, and the U.S., whose rate was 7.3 percent.