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The Boston Globe

Magazine

The Learning & Earning Issue

Where the Massachusetts jobs are right now

When he was leading the Maine Department of Labor, John Dorrer recognized the limitations of standard job market projections, which assume the past can predict the future. “They will be right some of the time,” he says, “but there have been such fundamental changes to the economy that in many cases historical trends may be very wrong.” Now at the nonprofit Jobs for the Future (JFF), Dorrer and his research partners have created a better way: They analyze online job postings in real time to extract the skills employers are asking for right now, then work with community colleges to make sure their students are being prepared to deliver. Although JFF doesn’t yet work with local schools, Dorrer ran the Massachusetts numbers, mining nearly 100,000 unique postings for the three months ending February 14.

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