Muhammed Akhtar

Muhammed Akhtar is the current Chief of the California Employment Development Department’s (EDD) Labor Market Information Division where he has demonstrated leadership in the field of labor market information (LMI) at the national, state, and local level.

Akhtar has worked for the EDD for 16 years performing various leadership roles in LMI and Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) programs. Additionally, he has managed survey and applied research teams and provided analysis and technical support for collaborative workforce services and Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) projects. Previously he worked as a Research Specialist at the California Integrated Waste Management Board; and worked as a Statistical Analyst at the Nebraska Department of Labor, Labor Market Information, where he developed and administered the America’s Labor Market Information Systems (ALMIS) database, which included BLS program data and short-term and long-term projection data.

One of Akhtar’s many accomplishments while at the Labor Market Information Division (LMID) was developing the LMID Mentoring Program which is designed to promote knowledge retention and staff development. This program is still going strong and has helped many staff to promote while filling gaps in our critical programs. Most recently, Akhtar led a team to create a new Unemployment Benefits Data Dashboard in an effort to further enhance transparency and accountability during the historic volume of Unemployment Insurance (UI) claims and benefits paid since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The EDD publicly released this interactive dashboard online which shows statewide and county-specific information about unemployment claims in California, call center demand, and other performance metrics. In addition, his team is working on a UI Fraud Data Report and interactive dashboard showing the amount of fraud claims, payments, and fraud deterrence experienced.

Akhtar holds Bachelor and Master degrees in Soil Science from the University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Pakistan and a Ph.D. in Soil Science with a concentration in Statistics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; as well as certifications from various management and leadership programs. Akhtar is active in several professional affiliations including the Pacific Chapter of American Association for Public Opinion Research, the International Association of Workforce Professionals, and Gamma Sigma Delta (The Honor Society of Agriculture). He also has published numerous papers on soil science, agronomy, employment, and economic trends.