BOSTON — The three labor market areas in the Berkshires each saw their jobless rates fall nearly a percent since July, posting unemployment figures on par with August 2009.
The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported that the August seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates were down in all 22 labor-market areas. Statewide, the August seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate dropped from 9.1 percent in July to 8.3 percent. Statewide, jobs unadjusted were down 5,800 over-the-month as the private sector unadjusted job gain of 3,100 was more than offset by the loss of 8,900 jobs in government.
The North Adams micropolitan area saw its jobless rate drop from 10.1 in July to 9.0 in August, the same rate as a year ago. Pittsfield dropped from 8.7 to 7.9 and Great Barrington from 6.5 to 5.7. Jobs gains for the most part were minimal, with each market showing a loss in total labor force since July.
The Leominster-Fitchburg-Gardner area added jobs, jobs were unchanged in the Brockton-Bridgewater-Easton area and the remaining ten areas for which jobs are estimated lost jobs in August. Over-the-year, six areas added jobs.
Over-the-year, unemployment rates were lower in 15 areas, unchanged in the North Adams area and up in the remaining 17 labor market areas.
Over-the-year, the unadjusted unemployment rate is down 0.3 percent from the 8.6 percent rate in August 2009.
The statewide seasonally adjusted jobs estimate released on Sept. 16 showed 2,100 jobs gained. The state has added 64,300 jobs since December. The seasonally adjusted statewide August 2010 unemployment rate of 8.8 percent was down from the 9.0 percent rate in May and June and below the national rate of 9.6 percent.
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.
The September 2010 unemployment rate, labor force data and jobs estimates for Massachusetts will be released on Oct. 21, 2010; local unemployment statistics will be released on Oct. 26, 2010. Detailed labor market information is available at www.mass.gov/lmi.
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I'm not at my desk (yep, loving the iPad) but I seem to remember that the Berkshire's peak unemployment rate was about 10.2% in January 2010, and has now dropped about a percentage point and a half. Going by memory, that's worth about 2,200 jobs.
I know there is a lot of work to be done economically speaking, but a corner has been turned. Employers, if you are waiting for the next "shoe to drop", it's too late - the shoes have dropped already.
Employers, it is an opportunistic time to reinvest in your company, by obtaining plant, property, equipment, and employees.