Labor Market Information Services

Labor Market Information Services

Improving Community College Strategic Decisions by Using Real-time Labor Market Information

Providing tools and services that help institutions apply the latest innovations in labor market information technology to align programs with employer demand and prepare more students for high-demand jobs in their regions.

Tiffany Smith
617.728.4446 x251

With the "skills gap," rising college tuition costs and student debt, and policies pushing for credentials that translate to good jobs, the need to align postsecondary education with the demands of the local labor market is unprecedented.

Online job postings reflect at least 70 percent of all openings in the American labor market. Real-time labor market information vendors use technology to collect up to 4 million job postings each day from up to 20,000 websites, and de-duplicate and analyze them in order to reveal up-to-the-minute regional job trends. Jobs for the Future provides colleges with access to this information, as well as training to enable staff to become self-sufficient and analyzing and applying it to programming.

Chronic unemployment, a growing skills gap, rising student debt, and increasing demand of gainful employment by new graduates are all combining to create an unprecedented need for the alignment of postsecondary education with the needs of employers. Community colleges have the potential to offer the educational and economical opportunities that both students and employers seek, yet many institutions lack the critical information needed to help redesign curricula and create new programs of study to produce graduates with the skills needed by local employers.

Attainment of a postsecondary credential is as a key to solving a host of national problems. The degrees and credentials that community colleges offer are always an integral part in making workers more attractive to the marketplace. To fulfill this role as a pipeline to employment for millions, community colleges need timely data on curriculum and employment demands to provide the most relevant programs of study. 

Labor Market Information Services ensure that education and training programs align with the current and future needs of regional economies, benefiting students, workers, jobseekers, and employers. These services utilize the latest innovations in labor market information to support effective strategic planning, demand-driven programming, curricular design, and career guidance for students.

We provide our clients (community colleges, workforce partnerships, and other local and regional economic developers) with the following:

  • Dynamic Skills AuditA structured review of a college’s programs of study and related courses to determine the responsiveness of course content to employers’ skill requirements and to recommend improvements.
  • Customized Analysis and Assistance in designing or revising career pathways into high-growth occupations, and aligning them with strategic programming investments. 
  • California’s Centers of Excellence are incorporating real-time LMI into market research for California Community Colleges.
  • Cerritos College in Norwalk, CA, is investigating regional advanced manufacturing employment opportunities and skill requirements.
  • Connecticut’s health care workforce planners are preparing to better collect and share workforce data.
  • Harper College in Palatine, IL, is using data to support new program development in advanced manufacturing.
  • The Kentucky Community and Technical College System is pioneering a system-wide Dynamic Skills Audit, incorporating labor market data into its curricular review process.

  • LaGuardia Community College in New York is using real-time LMI to align its curricula with regional programming demand in green occupations.
  • Southern Maine Community College is using labor data to support grant proposals.
  • The Texas State Technical College system is using real-time LMI to improve student placement, forecast business development, and establish performance and outcome measures for workforce education programming.

The Credentials That Work Innovators Network currently includes seven community colleges and four state systems in California, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, and New York.


  • Real Time LMI

    Success in Real-Time: Using Real-Time Labor Market Information to Build Better Middle-Skill STEM Pathways

    Success in Real-Time: Using Real-Time Labor Market Information to Build Better Middle-Skill STEM Pathways encourages states to support their colleges as they use high-quality, real-time labor market information to align the creation of middle-skill STEM pathways with robust career opportunities, and provides recommendations and examples for how states can do so. This brief stems directly from Achieving the Dream and Jobs for the Future's work with STEM Regional Collaboratives, generously supported by the Helmsley Charitable Trust. JFF and ATD have worked with community colleges to build supportive pathways that lead students directly into exciting STEM careers in their local labor markets, a process that relies upon the improved data now available through real-time labor market information.

    Learn More
  • LMI

    Putting Labor Market Data to Work

    Jobs for the Future commissioned survey research to analyze how community colleges currently use labor market information to ensure their programs are matching the demand of local employers. The survey of 100 college leaders found that institutions aren’t yet taking full advantage of major opportunities to meet the needs of jobseekers and employers through cutting-edge data analysis.

    Learn More