Tuesday September 25, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- The Berkshire County unemployment rate dropped slightly in August, falling slightly under 6 percent for the second time this year.

The local rate fell to 5.9 percent in August from 6.1 percent the previous month, according to figures released on Tuesday by the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

The other time local unemployment has been below the 6 percent barrier this year was in May, when the rate was 5.8 percent. The local jobless rate has hovered between 6.1 percent and 5.8 percent since April.

The state unemployment rate is 6.4 percent. National unemployment is 8.1 percent.

Unemployment in the Great Barrington, North Adams and Pittsfield labor market areas also dropped slightly last month, as did the rate in the cities of Pittsfield and North Adams.

But unemployment in Pittsfield (6.7 percent) and North Adams (7.1) percent is higher than the state average.

The figures released on Tuesday are not seasonally adjusted which means they take into account seasonal construction jobs and positions in the travel and tourism industry.

The labor force, unemployment rates and job estimates for Massachusetts and every other state, are based on statistical methodologies specified by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.