Berkshire County unemployment rate up 1 point in January


PITTSFIELD -- Berkshire County's unemployment rate jumped a full percentage point in January to 7.9 percent, according to figures released on Tuesday by a state agency.

The local unemployment rate is slightly higher than the state rate of 7.4 percent. The national unemployment rate is also 7.9 percent.

In the Berkshires, the local jobless rate was also 7.9 percent in January 2012. That percentage was the highest mark of last year.

Unemployment also increased in the Berkshire's three labor markets, with the biggest jump coming in North Adams, where the jobless rate rose to 9.2 percent in January from 7.8 percent in December.

In the Great Barrington area unemployment went from 5.3 to 6.6 percent in January, while in the Pittsfield area it increased from 7.2 to 7.9 percent.

The figures released on Tuesday by the state Office of Labor and Workforce Development are not seasonally adjusted, which means they include seasonal construction jobs, and positions in the travel and tourism industry.

In Massachusetts, January's seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates were up in all 22 of the state's labor market areas.


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