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Berkshire Unemployment Rate Down

Staff Reports

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The latest state jobless rates show Berkshire County falling within the state average for the month of June with a seasonally unadjusted rate of 7.3 percent.

The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development is reporting a seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate for June of  7.8 percent, up 0.4 of a percentage point from the revised May rate of 7.4 percent.  A statement from the office says that reflects seasonal increases in the number of residents entering and re-entering the labor force.

Berkshire County overall added more than 2,000 jobs over the month of May, and has 1,300 fewer jobless claims than January of this year. The county also is down from January's unemployment rate of 9.2 and has seen a decrease of more than a point from last year's average unemployment rate of 8.2.

Good news, but still far from 2000's average jobless rate of 2.9 percent. The following data is taken from the EOLWD site.

Berkshire County WIA

Laborforce, Employment and Unemployment

(not seasonally adjusted)
Month    Year  Labor Force  Employed  Unemployed  Unemployment Rate
06  2011    74,644    69,167    5,477    7.3  
05  2011    72,395    67,150    5,245    7.2  
04  2011    71,665    66,228    5,437    7.6  
03  2011    72,662    66,465    6,197    8.5  
02  2011    72,983    66,503    6,480    8.9  
01  2011    73,419    66,652    6,767    9.2  
Annual  Year  Labor Force  Employed  Unemployed  Unemployment Rate
Average  2010    73,530    67,492    6,039    8.2  
Average  2009    73,209    67,487    5,722    7.8  
Average  2008    73,136    69,400    3,736    5.1  
Average  2007    73,000    69,810    3,191    4.4  
Average  2006    73,466    70,292    3,175    4.3  
Average  2005    72,646    69,485    3,161    4.4  
Average  2004    72,125    68,705    3,420    4.7  
Average  2003    72,654    68,958    3,696    5.1  
Average  2002    72,706    69,395    3,311    4.6  
Average  2001    71,082    68,590    2,492    3.5  
Average  2000    70,160    68,092    2,068    2.9  

Occupational Wage Data

is available for this area. Download an Excel file with the data

2009 Average Employment and Wages
by Industry     All Ownership

 Industry Establish-
Weekly Wage
Total, All Industries 4,816   $2,340,412,497 60,540   $743  
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting 29   $3,979,245 177   $432  
Mining 8   $6,023,640 108   $1,073  
Construction 596   $138,296,886 2,956   $900  
Manufacturing 171   $299,567,000 4,910   $1,173  
Utilities 14   $23,858,251 313   $1,466  
Wholesale Trade 128   $39,815,957 902   $849  
Retail Trade 692   $215,528,707 8,469   $489  
Transportation and Warehousing 98   $39,647,467 1,119   $681  
Information 89   $41,785,228 1,014   $792  
Finance and Insurance 166   $114,037,295 2,042   $1,074  
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing 140   $19,772,993 624   $609  
Professional and Technical Services 354   $163,734,693 2,575   $1,223  
Management of Companies and Enterprises 15   $17,489,855 222   $1,515  
Administrative and Waste Services 250   $74,389,528 2,082   $687  
Educational Services 92   $304,530,714 7,352   $797  
Health Care and Social Assistance 398   $496,134,129 11,453   $833  
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation 109   $44,026,587 1,870   $453  
Accommodation and Food Services 489   $118,497,302 6,844   $333  
Other Services, Ex. Public Admin 821   $75,949,953 3,068   $476  
Public Administration 157   $103,347,066 2,440   $815  

Cities and Towns in

Berkshire County WIA

Largest Employers in

Berkshire County WIA


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Berkshire/Legacy Bank Merger Complete

Staff Reports

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The merger of Berkshire Bank and Legacy Banks was completed Thursday.

Announced in December, Berkshire Bank purchased Legacy for $108 million, which created the biggest financial institution in the region with more than $4 billion in assets.

The Berkshire Bank name will remain the same and more than 40 of the two banks' 850 workers are expected to lose their job because of the merger.

According to a press release, the bank now has more than 60 branches reaching from Massachusetts to New York to Vermont. The merger is effective immediately.

"This acquisition results in improved market share and an expanded footprint in our attractive northeastern markets," Berkshire Bank President Michael P. Daly said in the release.  "It contributes to our strong momentum in revenue and earnings growth.  This partnership enhances our resources to support the needs of our regions and to provide exceptional locally based service.  We are very pleased to welcome the customers, employees, and shareholders of Legacy to America's most exciting bank."

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Williamstown Attorneys Open New Office

Staff Reports

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Attorneys Bruce Grinnell, Jeffrey Grandchamp and Jamie Art have opened a new law office together, Grinnell Partners LLP.

Bruce D. Grinnell

With decades of combined experience and deep roots in the community, the firm offers experienced legal counsel in a broad range of areas, including business, commercial, and corporate law, nonprofit organizations, estate planning and administration, real estate, zoning and land use, and mediation.

Grinnell graduated from Williams College in 1962 and received his law degree from Boston University in 1967. He is a resident of Williamstown and member and former chairman of the Northern Berkshire Healthcare board of trustees.

Art also graduated from Williams College, in 1993, and earned his law degree from Yale in 1997. Grandchamp is a graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia and recieved his law degree from the University of Connecticut.

The firm's offices will be located at 1 Bank St. and can be contacted at 413-458-9601. The individual attorneys may be reached at bruce@grinnellpartners.com; jeff@grinnellpartners.com, and jamie@grinnellpartners.com.

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State Jobless Holds Steady at 7.6%

Staff Reports

BOSTON — The state's unemployment remains well below the national average at 7.6 percent, according to the latest statistics from the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.

Preliminary June job estimates show 3,235,100 jobs in the state, an increase of 10,400 jobs, with 10,300 jobs added in the private sector. The state's jobless rate has remained steady at 7.6 percent for two consecutive months; the national rate is 9.2 percent. Both the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed residents are the lowest since February 2009.
Six of the 10 private sectors added jobs in June with the largest over-the-month gains in Manufacturing followed by: Construction; Professional, Scientific and Business Services; Leisure and Hospitality; Financial Activities; and Educational and Health Services.  June's monthly gain follows a revised May monthly loss of 4,100 jobs statewide and a 1,300 job loss in the private sector. 
Since March, the state has added 26,600 jobs (up 0.8 percent) with a gain of 30,300 jobs ( up 1.1 percent) in the private sector.  Also in this timeframe, Construction; Manufacturing; Information; Professional, Scientific and Technical Services and Accommodation and Food Services have all posted solid job gains.
Over-the-year (June 2010 to June 2011), jobs are up 50,000, for a growth rate of 1.6 percent. Private-sector jobs are up 60,300, for a growth rate of 2.2 percent, with gains in eight of the ten sectors. Over-the-year, the national rate of job growth is 0.8 percent with private-sector job growth up 1.6 percent.

The June estimates show 3,224,100 Massachusetts residents were employed and 263,800 were unemployed, for a total labor force of 3,487,900. The labor force decreased by 9,400 from 3,497,300 in May, as 7,700 fewer residents were employed and 1,700 fewer residents were unemployed over-the-month.  Since October 2009, there are 55,700 more residents employed and 40,600 fewer residents unemployed as the labor force expanded by 15,100. Totals for June may not add exactly because of rounding.
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 for June exhibit different trends.

Jobless rates for local areas will be released on July 26. Read the full press release here.

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Southern Berkshire Chamber Names Iredale Business Person of the Year

Staff Reports

 Courtesy photo

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Jane Iredale of Iredale Mineral Cosmetics has been named the recipient of the 2011 Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce’s Business Person of the Year award. The award will be presented at a cocktail reception and tribute to Iredale on Wednesday, Sept. 14, from 5:30 to 7:30 at the Norman Rockwell Museum.

The Business Person of the Year award is given annually to a chamber member who is a role model to other business people in the community, has strong leadership qualities and maintains a positive work environment. The recipient is also honored for personal contributions to the economic, social and cultural needs of the Southern Berkshire community.

“Jane is the perfect choice for this award because of her integrity, entrepreneurial spirit and numerous personal contributions to the Southern Berkshire community that go well beyond her immediate business interests," said Chamber President Kate McCormick of McCormick, Murtagh & Marcus.

Iredale is the president and founder of Iredale Mineral Cosmetics. The company was founded in 1994 in Austerlitz, N.Y. and moved to the building it renovated at 28 Church St. in 2000.  IMC currently employs 90 people in the Great Barrington office and 60 in the field.  The company distributes into 47 countries. Its international presence is so strong that Iredale Mineral Cosmetics was recently awarded the Diplomat’s Award from the State of Massachusetts.

Iredale was the first to supply the aesthetics industry with a full line of makeup based on minerals and the first to see the potential of offering physicians a makeup that was good for the skin. 

In addition to her success with Iredale Mineral Cosmetics, Iredale is a philanthropic leader in the community. She serves on the board of The Mahaiwe Performing Arts and Shakespeare & Company.  She is a member of the Creative Economy and Berkshire Green.  She and her company have renovated four buildings on Church Street and are in the process of renovating Bryant School to serve as IMC’s World headquarters.  Three years ago, she led a volunteer effort to restore the band stand and has just put the finishing touches to Giggle Park the new children’s playground behind town hall.  “I had the idea and chose the pieces but it was my husband, Bob Montgomery, and Craig Okerstrom Lang who made it happen,” she says. 

“The Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce is honored to name Jane Iredale as the 2011 Business Person of the Year. The policies and projects she has fostered have had such a positive impact on the overall economy of south county.  Her corporate headquarters has brought renewal to part of our downtown core and she has been a generous supporter of the local creative economy and other women business owners," said Chamber Executive Director Christine Ludwiszewski.

Tickets to the Business Person of the Year cocktail reception and tribute can be purchased through the Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce for $50 per person; a “Business Leaders” package costs $250, which includes two tickets and event recognition.  Reservations must be made by Sept. 1.

For more information on this event or to learn more about sponsorship opportunities, contact Ludwiszewski at 413-528-4284 or ed@rnetworx.com. For more information about the Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, visit www.southernberkshirechamber.com.

(More iBerkshires coverage on Iredale Mineral Cosmetics can be found here.)

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