PITTSFIELD -- Following two months of little movement, the Berkshire County unemployment rate jumped half a percentage point in June to 7.3 percent, which is slightly lower than the state's jobless rate.

Figures released by the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development on Tuesday show the number of workers receiving unemployment benefits in the Berkshires last month broke the 5,000 mark for the first time since March, and only the third time this year.

The number of employed workers, however, rose by over 4,000 to 66,692, the highest level since last November.

State unemployment is 7.0 percent, while the national rate is 7.6 percent.

Unemployment in the Pittsfield and Great Barrington labor market areas went up slightly last month, but jumped more than half a percentage point in the North Adams area to 8.5 percent.

The jobless rate in the cities of Pittsfield and North Adams was higher than the national rate last month.



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