PITTSFIELD — For the first time in six months, the Berkshire County unemployment rate has risen slightly.
The downward trend accelerated by the waning effects of the COVID-19 pandemic reversed slightly in June, as Berkshire unemployment rose to 6.1 percent, up four-tenths of a point, according to figures released by a state agency Tuesday. The previous increase occurred in January, when the local jobless rate rose seven-tenths of a point, to 8.8 percent.
The Berkshire unemployment rate in June 2020 was 13.8 percent.
Berkshire unemployment still is slightly above the state's jobless rate, which also rose slightly, to 5.4 percent. The national unemployment rate is 5.9 percent.
The county's total workforce — that is, the number of residents eligible to be employed — increased by almost 600, and the number of employed residents by almost 300 in June, which marks the beginning of the Berkshire summer tourist season. But, the number of unemployed residents also rose by almost 300, to 3,781.
In the Berkshires' two cities, the unemployment rate increased to 7.5 percent in North Adams, up seven-tenths of a point, and to 7.3 percent in Pittsfield, up three-tenths. Unemployment in the Great Barrington labor market area rose to 4.4 percent last month, up three-tenths of a point.