In this sector, we examine employment and income and ask questions on saving for retirement, savings, financial security, and sources of income.

Comparable counties are available for some of these indicators by selecting them from the geography filter.

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A quarter of respondents can save as much as they want for retirement. Nearly half of all survey respondents who are not already retired can save for retirement, but not as much as they would like. The remaining quarter cannot save for retirement or have not yet thought about saving for retirement. Half of the respondents making less than $35,000/year cannot save for retirement or even think about saving. Another third is saving, but not as much as they want.

A quarter of survey respondents have more than two years of living expenses saved for retirement. However, over half of respondents have less than six months, with 15% having no savings. Among respondents making less than $35,000, over half have no savings or less than two months of savings.

Over half of survey respondents report that they can always afford a healthy, balanced diet for themselves and their families. However, one in ten can rarely or never afford enough healthy food.

Two out of three survey respondents who work part-time would prefer a full-time job. As income rises, the percentage that want the full-time job decreases.

Six out of ten survey respondents feel financially secure all or most of the time. Two out of ten rarely or never feel financially secure. As expected, as income levels decrease, financial security decreases.

Six out of ten survey respondents rely on income from a primary job. At the same time, one in four also have a side job or rely on social security, retirement /pensions, or investments. One in ten rely on support from their family. As incomes decrease, fewer respondents have primary job income, investment income, and retirement/pensions. More respondents with lower income have social security, side jobs, and support from family members. People of color tend to have a higher percentage of side jobs, regardless of income.


The Berkshire County Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) Committee guides the development of a 5-year CEDS report, as well as annual reports during intervening years. The Committee includes representation from regional economic development, workforce, housing agencies, and our priority industries, higher education, finance, and municipal government. The Committee’s primary role is to assist BRPC in identifying regional goals, priority projects, and metrics for measuring progress. https://berkshireplanning.org/initiatives/berkshire-comprehensive-economic-development-strategy-ceds/

The Berkshire Skills Cabinet, led by the Berkshire Workforce Board, looks to set workforce priorities within the region. The cabinet runs the Berkshire Healthcare Hub, which creates grant-funded training programs based on local employer needs. They are the lead for area Connecting Activities initiatives, encompassing all regional youth career awareness, exploration, and immersion activities. https://masshireberkshire.com/about/key-initiatives/

The Berkshire Workforce Board works to increase workforce opportunities in Berkshire County. The Board consistently seeks out and applies for Workforce grants, runs training programs aligned with local labor market needs at no cost to participants, supports other local training and workforce programs, and provides career readiness opportunities to youth in all of our Berkshire County communities. https://masshireberkshire.com/

The Economic Development Practitioners Group acts as a central body of economic development agency partners and practitioners who collectively address large regional issues and opportunities, share resources and collaborative opportunities, and discuss the needs of the regional economy through the lens of their individual and collective work. The group meets quarterly and includes around 45 individuals, including local, regional, and state representation.