Reports Says Berkshire County Workforce Skews Older
A research arm of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston has found that Massachusetts' Berkshire County has the second-oldest workforce in the state. And the county saw its share of workers 44 and younger drop between 2008 and 2010.
Berkshire County has an older, less educated workforce than other regions of the Commonwealth, according to a study released last week. New England tends to have an older workforce, but Berkshire County is seeing an unusually small percentage of younger workers.
"They were actually declining at double the rate that occurred statewide. So Berkshire wasn't necessarily moving in a completely different demographic tend from what was occurring statewide during this period, it's just that the declines in the younger population were exacerbated or stronger than what was occurring statewide, so it makes the demographic situation a little more tricky."
Melanie Gelaznik, a manager at the career center BerkshireWorks in Pittsfield, notes it has about 200 job openings posted, but many are entry level. Most of the job seekers she sees have already been out of work for several months, and seek help there after getting a taste of the job market.
"There are opportunities out there, it's just very competitive and its an employer's market right now for sure."
Berkshire was also the only region in the Bay State to see a decrease in how much post-secondary education its workers achieved over the past decade. Taken together, the trends could mean Berkshire businesses will find it harder to fill key positions in future years. But, Clifford, says, it also means workers with more skills have a better chance of finding jobs.
Last year, Berkshire County unemployment was slightly below the state average of 7 point three five percent.