The Census Bureau has released the initial results from the 2020 Census. The official population for Berkshire County in 2020 was 129,026. This population represents a loss of 2,193 people since 2010 or -1.7%. The Census Bureau had estimated that the county’s population would drop to below 125,000, so the region did substantially better than estimated.
Berkshire County public school district enrollment has been declining over the last several decades. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the question has arisen on how the pandemic has impacted the enrollment.
Existing Student Enrollment
As of October 1, 2020, the student population in the Berkshire County public school districts for K-12 was 14,258. On October 1, 2019, the enrollment was 14,748. This is a loss of 490 students, or -3.3%, in one year.
COVID-19 has impacted the Berkshires in many ways, one of which is in home sales. After a lower than the average number of completed sales in the first few months of COVID, sales have rebounded, and homes have sold at a faster rate than in previous years.
In August 2019, Berkshire County employed 65,112 people, with an additional 2,101 unemployed, resulting in a labor force of 67,213 and an unemployment rate of 3.1%. In the intervening year, COVID-19 hit. By August 2020, Berkshire County employed 54,976, with an additional 6,727 unemployed, resulting in a labor force of 61,703 and an unemployment rate of 10.9%. The number employed had dropped to a low of 48,028 in April 2020, and unemployment jumped to a high of 17.8% in June 2020. This two-month delay is likely due to people not filing initially, with an expectation of their jobs returning quickly, only to realize after two months that their layoff was going to last longer.