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State Jobless Rate Down; Berkshire County's Up
By: Staff Reports On: 11:43AM / Tuesday April 20, 2010
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BOSTON — Unemployment has dropped statewide by nearly a point since February, from 10.0 to 9.3. Berkshire County's rate is slightly above the state average at 9.6 percent, up from 8 percent in December. These rates are not seasonally adjusted.

The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported that unemployment rates were lower in March than February in all of the commonwealth's 22 labor market areas. Twenty of the labor market areas also had lower unemployment rates in February than in January.

The Pittsfield Metropolitan Area, which includes a few neighboring North County towns, posted a jobless rate of 9.8; with a workforce of 38,895, some 3,809 are still out of work. North County continues to flag behind with a jobless rate of 10.4 percent; some 1,850 of its workforce of 17,729 are unemployed.

Over the year, the unadjusted unemployment rate is up 1.1 percent from the 8.2 percent rate in March 2009.

Job gains were recorded in all of the 12 labor areas in March, with Boston-Cambridge-Quincy area added the most jobs over the month. Over the year, the Haverhill-North Andover-Amesbury and Barnstable areas gained jobs, the remaining 10 areas lost jobs. Over the year, unemployment rates were up in all of the labor market areas for which rates are published.

The seasonally adjusted statewide March 2010 unemployment rate of 9.3 percent, released on April 15, was down from the 9.5 percent rate in February 2010. The statewide seasonally adjusted jobs estimate for March 2010, also released on April 15th, showed a gain of 7,600 jobs over the month.

The unadjusted unemployment rates and job estimates for the labor market areas reflect seasonal fluctuations and therefore may show different levels and trends than the statewide seasonally adjusted estimates.

NOTES: The 2009 rates have been revised with this release. Detailed labor market information is available at www.mass.gov/lmi. See the Revised March, 2010 Media Advisory annual schedule for complete listing of release dates.

Berkshire County WIA  
   Time Frame:  March 2010 
   Not Seasonally Adjusted Data 

 Area  Labor Force  Employed  Unemployed  Area Rate
 Berkshire County WIA  72,604    65,606    6,998    9.6  

 

 City or Town   Labor Force  Employed  Unemployed  Rate
 Adams  4,572    4,030    542    11.9  
 Alford  225    210    15    6.7  
 Becket  1,044    930    114    10.9  
 Cheshire  1,969    1,749    220    11.2  
 Clarksburg  947    856    91    9.6  
 Dalton  3,760    3,446    314    8.4  
 Egremont  831    783    48    5.8  
 Florida  416    368    48    11.5  
 Great Barrington  4,328    3,954    374    8.6  
 Hancock  622    596    26    4.2  
 Hinsdale  1,179    1,016    163    13.8  
 Lanesborough  1,800    1,620    180    10.0  
 Lee  3,676    3,328    348    9.5  
 Lenox  2,699    2,474    225    8.3  
 Monterey  576    543    33    5.7  
 Mount Washington  94    91    3    3.2  
 New Ashford  155    146    9    5.8  
 New Marlborough  923    821    102    11.1  
 North Adams  7,371    6,528    843    11.4  
 Otis  853    770    83    9.7  
 Peru  474    451    23    4.9  
 Pittsfield  22,955    20,623    2,332    10.2  
 Richmond  940    895    45    4.8  
 Sandisfield  511    454    57    11.2  
 Savoy  451    380    71    15.7  
 Sheffield  2,014    1,853    161    8.0  
 Stockbridge  1,327    1,241    86    6.5  
 Tyringham  250    232    18    7.2  
 Washington  337    298    39    11.6  
 West Stockbridge  862    794    68    7.9  
 Williamstown  3,931    3,664    267    6.8  
 Windsor  512    462    50    9.8  


Tags: County, unemployment, statistics      
House Gives Initial Approval to Jobless Insurance Rate Changes
By: Berkshire Chamber of Commerce On: 03:09PM / Thursday February 04, 2010
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The Berkshire Chamber passed on this information:

The state House budget committee on Thursday approved an unemployment insurance rate freeze bill that aides say would hit employers with per-employee average increase of $110 per year but spare businesses from a rate schedule with even higher rates.  More Massachusetts residents have been relying on the fund during the recession for cash benefits and the fund will need years of federal loans to keep benefits flowing.

Unemployment in Massachusetts hit 9.4 percent in December.  Patrick administration officials said last year they were considering a rate relief plan but no proposal has been filed and steep unemployment insurance rate hikes are scheduled to trigger in the spring, unless legislators and Patrick agree to a new schedule. 

"Freezing the rate is an appropriate step at least based on the numbers that I've seen," John Regan of Associated Industries of Massachusetts, an employer trade group, told the Statehouse News Service on Thursday morning.  "We'd clearly like to see systemic reform as well, not that we're ungrateful for the step that's being taken."  The House gave the bill initial approval Thursday morning and it could receive further attention in the afternoon.

The Berkshire Chamber of Commerce will keep you informed on this topic. If you have any questions, call 413-499-4000.



Tags: unemployment, employers      
Pittsfield Gains Jobs But Unemployment Still Up
By: Tammy Daniels On: 04:49PM / Tuesday January 26, 2010
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BOSTON — The state's unemployment rate went up from November to December (8.3 to 91) but Pittsfield was one of three areas to see an increase in the work force and showed the highest over-the-month percentage increase in jobs.

However, the area's unemployment rate (not seasonly adjusted) jumped nearly a point, from 8.0 to 8.9 percent. In December 2008, the rate was 6.5 percent. The number of jobless increased by nearly 400, to 3,404. In the North Adams area, the jobless rate rose fro 9.1 to 10.2 percent.

The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported that unemployment rates were higher in December than in November in all of the commonwealth's 22 labor-market areas. Statewide, the seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate increased from 8.3 percent in November to 9.1 percent in December.

Job gains were recorded in three of the twelve areas for which unadjusted job estimates were published. In addition to Pittsfield, the Framingham and Springfield areas added jobs. Over the year, all of the labor areas recorded increases in unemployment rates and job losses.

Statewide the seasonally adjusted December 2009 unemployment rate, released last week, rose from 8.7 percent in November to 9.4 percent in December. Statewide, the seasonally adjusted jobs estimate for December showed 8,400 jobs lost over the month. The unadjusted unemployment rates and jobs estimates for the labor markets may show different levels and trends than the statewide seasonally adjusted estimates.

NOTES:  The January 2010 unemployment rate, labor force data and survey of jobs for Massachusetts will be released on March 4, 2010; local unemployment statistics will be released on March 9, 2010.  Detailed labor market information is available at www.mass.gov/lmi. See the January, 2010 Media Advisory annual schedule for complete listing of release dates.



Tags: Pittsfield, unemployment, statistics      
State's Jobless Rate Rises in December
By: Staff Reports On: 04:26PM / Thursday January 21, 2010
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BOSTON — The state's jobless rate jumped more than a half percent in December, from 8.7 to 9.4. That's still below the national rate of 10 percent for both November and December, according to the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.

Jobs were down 8,400 for the month of December. At 3,164,000, jobs are down 66,200 or 2.0 percent from one year ago.

There's good news, though: manufacturing added 500 jobs last month, the second consecutive monthly jobs gain for this sector. Durable-goods jobs grew by 700, more than offsetting nondurable goods' 200 job loss. Still, manufacturing jobs, which are now at 266,900, are down 14,200 or 5.1 percent from one year ago.

Other sectors adding jobs were education and health services (the largest gain at 1,000, and third monthly consecutive monthly gain for 4,100 jobs since September); government (900); other services (800) and Financial Activities (300).

With 656,600 jobs overall, education and health services is the largest sector in Massachusetts, generating 13,300 jobs over the year.

Trade, transportation and utilities had the sharpest decline with 5,000, the fourth consecutive month of losses. Also showing losses were leisure and hospitality (3,400); construction (1,800); professional, scientific and business services (1,400, wiping out a gain of 1,500 in November), and information (300).

The labor force declined by 22,000 in December, with 43,100 fewer residents employed and 21,100 more residents unemployed. In December, 3,108,600 residents were employed and 323,200 residents were unemployed. At 3,431,800, the labor force was down 800 from December 2008 with 104,300 fewer residents employed and 103,500 more residents unemployed.  

The unemployment rate is based on a monthly sample of households, while the job estimates are derived from a monthly sample survey of employers.  As a result, the two statistics may exhibit different trends.

Local area unemployment statistics for December 2009 will be released on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2010. The January 2010 unemployment rate will be released on March 4. Detailed labor market information is available at www.mass.gov/lmi.



Tags: unemployment, statistics      
October 2009 Unemployment Rates
By: Tammy Daniels On: 03:22PM / Tuesday November 24, 2009
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Massachusetts Jobs
(seasonally adjusted)
Graph of MA seasonal employment for the past yearGood news on the labor front: the state's unemployment rate continues to drop. Statewide, the seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate decreased from 9.3 percent in September to 8.4 percent in October. But that's still nearly double last year's rate overall.

The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development also reports that unemployment rates were lower in October than in September in 20 of the state's 22 labor market areas. The Amherst, Lowell-Billerica-Chelmsford, Peabody and Leominster-Fitchburg-Gardner areas recorded the largest over-the-month unemployment rate declines. Two areas posted seasonal unemployment rate increases: Tisbury and Nantucket County. 

In North Adams, the rate dropped from 9.5 percent to 8.8 percent; last October, the rate was 5.8 percent. and the Pittsfield area saw a decline from 8.6 percent to 8 percent, compared to last October's 4.9 percent. More information can be found here.

Job gains were recorded in eight of the 12 areas for which unadjusted job estimates were published. The Boston-Cambridge-Quincy area added the most jobs and had the highest over-the-month percentage increase in jobs. Job losses were recorded in four areas. Over the year, all of the labor areas recorded increases in unemployment rates and job losses.

Statewide, the seasonally adjusted October 2009 unemployment rate, released last week, dropped from 9.3 percent in September to 8.9 percent in October and the seasonally adjusted jobs estimate for October showed 900 job losses over the month. The unadjusted unemployment rates and jobs estimates for the labor markets may show different levels and trends than the statewide seasonally adjusted estimates.

The November 2009 unemployment rate, labor-force data and survey of jobs for Massachusetts will be released on Dec. 17, 2009; local unemployment statistics will be released on Dec. 22.

www.mass.gov/lmi



Tags: unemployment, statistics      
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