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Berkshire CountyJobless Rate Drops

Staff Reports

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Berkshire County is doing slightly better than the statewide average in keeping people working, according to May statistics released by the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.

May's jobless rate for the county was 8.6 percent (not seasonally adjusted), compared to the statewide 9.2 percent and full percentage point below the national rate.

The Pittsfield Metropolitan area added 200 jobs in the past month, from 34,900 in April to 35,100 in May. The metropolitan area had a jobless rate of 8.9 percent, down from 9.3 percent in April. It had a 7.8 percent rate in May 2009.

Separately, Pittsfield's jobless rate is 9.7, nearly 5 points higher than the state rate. Of the city's labor force of 23,075, some 2,246 are receiving unemployment benefits.

Tiny Florida continued with the highest jobless rate of 11.7 percent; the lowest was Mount Washington with 2.1.

North Adams' jobless rate remains high at 10.4 percent, representing some 758 people out of work. Adams was higher at 11.2 percent, or about 500 out of work. The Great Barrington Labor Market Area, covering much of South County, had a jobless rate of 6.8 percent in May, down from 7.6 percent in April; a year ago, the rate was 6.1 percent.

Still, the unemployment rate for Berkshire County has dropped significantly since March's 9.6 percent and the state has added jobs for four consecutive months. The jobless rate dropped in 11 of the state's 22 labor market areas.

The June 2010 unemployment rate, labor force data and jobs estimates for Massachusetts will be released on July 15, 2010; local unemployment statistics will be released on July 20, 2010. Detailed labor market information is available at www.mass.gov/lmi.

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