The Data Services Department at MAPC is seeking an experienced analyst to research current socioeconomic trends and develop long-range forecasts to support informed decision-making about the future of Metro Boston. The Socioeconomic Analyst will take a leading role in developing population, housing, and economic projections for the region and will support the application of these projections to a variety of planning, regulatory, and policy activities within MAPC and beyond. In addition, the Analyst will help create and maintain important datasets about the region; conduct policy-oriented research about critical planning issues; and promote the use of scenario planning. Throughout their work, the Analyst will be asked to address issues such as segregation, inequity, opportunity, and resilience. We are driven by the belief that better information and data about current conditions facing communities of color and other underrepresented communities is essential to more effective and equitable policies.
The Analyst will inherit a robust toolbox of technical modeling tools and analytical methods and will have the opportunity to improve these tools and apply them to real-world problems in a large metro region with a variety of social, environmental, and transportation challenges. Products of their work will help stakeholders better understand the region’s growing diversity, economic systems, changing housing needs, and future uncertainties. The Analyst will have the opportunity to build relationships with other public agencies, academic partners, and frontline community organizations, all of whom play a role in guiding and using the agency’s research and projections. This position is ideal for someone who is innovative, mission-driven, and committed to a more sustainable and equitable region.
The ideal candidate will have excellent quantitative abilities with a focus on demographics or economics, high competence with R and python, and a strong understanding of scenario planning principles and methods. They should have demonstrated experience with population projections or related analysis, an understanding of housing policy challenges facing U.S. metro regions, the ability to interpret and communicate model results to the general public and key stakeholders, and experience working with big data.
MAPC is the Regional Planning Agency (RPA) serving the people who live and work in metropolitan Boston. Our mission is to promote smart growth and regional collaboration. We are guided by MetroFuture: Making a Greater Boston Region, our regional policy plan for a more sustainable and equitable future, which was adopted in 2008. We are currently finalizing a successor regional plan, MetroCommon2050: Shaping the Region Together, which we expect to complete in Fall 2021. MAPC’s staff includes approximately 100 full-time employees located in downtown Boston in a transit-accessible and bike-friendly office.
MAPC has been operating remotely through the pandemic, but people are now beginning to return to the office. We anticipate the office will reopen fully only when the metrics we are following indicate it is safe to do so. At that time, we expect that most staff will be working on a hybrid schedule, combining time in the office with remote work.
MAPC strongly supports the professional development of each staff person, believing their growth to be consistent with the best interests of MAPC and the region. We encourage all our staff to develop new ideas to make MAPC’s planning and policy work more relevant and impactful, and to adapt to changing times.
This is an opportunity to work in a dynamic, interdisciplinary, and innovative environment with professionals who are committed to building a more sustainable and equitable future for everyone who lives and works in Greater Boston. For more information about MAPC, MetroFuture, and MetroCommon, please visit www.mapc.org.
About the Department:
The Socioeconomic Analyst II will be part of MAPC’s Data Services team and will report to the Research Manager. This is a unique opportunity to work as part of a dynamic, collaborative, and interdisciplinary team of 15 planners, researchers, GIS analysts, web developers, and information technology specialists focused on using data and technology to support informed regional planning. The Data Services Department is recognized as a national leader in data dissemination, regional indicators, scenario modeling, spatial analysis, and open-source interactive websites. To learn more about Data Services, visit www.mapc.org/learn/research-analysis/.
Examples of Duties
- Maintain, operate, and improve MAPC’s population, housing demand, and employment modeling tools.
- Interpret model outputs, summarize important results, and communicate salient features of scenarios to various audiences in narrative, visual, and digital formats.
- Contribute to the design and implementation of public engagement activities related to demographic modeling and package the results in products that help support local planning activities.
- Provide guidance to MAPC colleagues and outside agencies about how to interpret and use model results for local, regional, and state-wide planning and policy efforts.
- Conduct research activities and answer data requests related to demographic, housing, economic, and development patterns in the region, including creation, acquisition, and interpretation of novel datasets.
- Serve as a technical resource for MAPC’s scenario modeling activities and scenario planning activities across the Commonwealth.
- Stay abreast of the latest research and best practices related to integrated demographic and land use planning and make recommendations for further development of MAPC’s research and forecasting program.
- Participate in conferences and peer exchange opportunities to share experiences with practitioners (especially other regional agencies) and researchers.
- Make connections between research work and strategic policy priorities across the agency. Work with other colleagues across the agency to advance goals related to smart growth and racial equity.
- Track updates to various conventional and unconventional data sources (including some produced in-house such as MassBuilds) to maintain an up-to-date picture of demographic, economic, and land use trends in the region.
- Work independently to complete tasks within specified time and budget; participate in project management and budgeting decisions; assist with the preparation of project scopes and work plans; develop skills and capacity to take on increasing project management responsibilities.
A Bachelor’s degree in planning, economics, statistics, transportation, sociology, or a related field plus at least four years of relevant experience; or a Master’s degree (or higher) in planning, economics, statistics, transportation, sociology, or a related field plus at least two years of relevant experience.
Successful candidates for this position will demonstrate all or most of the following:
- Advanced knowledge of demographic forecasting principles and practice
- Demonstrated experience in socioeconomic research, statistical data analysis, interpretation, and presenting findings
- Intermediate to advanced working knowledge of R and Python; demonstrated experience using GIS for mapping and spatial analysis
- Demonstrated knowledge of planning topics such as land use, transportation, housing, economic development, sustainable development, equity, and zoning; and ability to connect research findings to policy issues
- A high proficiency with managing, analyzing, and visualizing both spatial and tabular data, specifically large datasets
- Proficiency with diverse data sets from federal, state, and local agencies including the Decennial Census, American Community Survey, and Bureau of Labor statistics
- Excellent communication skills (written and oral) with experience in giving presentations, speaking with members of the press, writing research reports, and technical documentation
- Demonstrated experience working with external partners and building relationships
- Experience with the principles and practice of both exploratory and normative scenario planning
- Experience with the planning and policy context of Metro Boston or elsewhere in Massachusetts
Compensation and Benefits:
The salary ranges from $70,000 to $78,000, depending on qualifications and experience. This is a full-time exempt position. MAPC offers excellent Massachusetts state employee benefits as well as a flexible, supportive, and family-friendly work environment and a commitment to continued professional development.
How to Apply:
Apply online at www.mapc.org/jobs. The position is open until filled, and applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume. Candidates selected to interview will be asked to submit three (3) references plus a sample of relevant writing or work product. Candidates must have legal authorization to work in the USA and a valid driver’s license and/or the ability to arrange transportation to meetings in different parts of the region. MAPC participates in E-Verify, which is a federal program that helps us to determine work eligibility in the United States.
MAPC is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer. We believe that a staff with a range of perspectives, experiences, and skillsets strengthens our work. We are committed to building a more equitable workplace that allows staff with diverse backgrounds and identities to thrive, grow, and lead. For more information on MAPC’s culture of equity, see our Equity at MAPC page.