Funded Projects

WorkRise invests in research projects that generate evidence on both challenges and solutions to accelerating economic mobility for workers. 

How Does Short-Time Compensation Shape Labor Market Outcomes?

This project will analyze and compare labor market outcomes for workers participating in Unemployment Insurance and Short-Time Compensation programs during the COVID-19 crisis and the Great Recession.

Cash and Near-Cash Safety Net Programs and Labor Market Outcomes

Using linked datasets, this project will address knowledge gaps in research on employment, work hours, and other labor market outcomes of people participating in the SNAP, TANF, and EITC programs.

How Does Task Assignment Increase Workers’ Earnings Mobility?

Researchers will build evidence on how employers allocate tasks and whether “bridging tasks” improve wages and economic mobility for workers in entry-level, low-wage jobs.

Using Matched-Pair Testing to Uncover Unlawful Employment Practices in Temporary Staffing

This project will conduct matched-pair testing at temporary staffing agencies to generate evidence on potential discrimination against workers of color in the light industrial sector.

How Does Federal and State Wage and Employment Policy Shape Racial Disparities in Earnings and Economic Mobility?

Researchers will build public-use datasets that generate evidence on how minimum wage policies and the federal-state Unemployment Insurance program have both mitigated and exacerbated racial inequality.

Impacts of Extending Child Care Subsidies to Parents in Education and Training

Researchers will use microsimulation to model the effects on employment and income if childcare subsidies were made available to all parents enrolled in education and training programs.

Creating Paths for STARs: Increasing Mobility Opportunities for Workers without BA Degrees

This project will generate insights on occupational pathways that can drive upward mobility for the estimated 71 million people in the US labor market who lack college degrees but are “skilled through alternative routes.”

Schedule Control at IKEA: How Does Worker Schedule Control Impact Employee Economic Security and Mobility?

The research team will conduct a pilot experiment with retailer IKEA that develops, tests, and evaluates new ways of giving hourly workers greater control over their schedules and assesses both employee and employer outcomes.

A Randomized Controlled Trial of the Pursuit Fellowship

Researchers will conduct a multiyear RCT to determine economic mobility outcomes of participants in the Pursuit Fellowship, a postsecondary IT skill and professional development program that prepares low-income adults without college degrees for careers in the tech industry.

The Impact of a Worker's First Job

Through the creation of a new linked dataset, this project seeks to understand how features and skill requirements of a worker’s first job shape wage and career trajectories and how these outcomes vary by race, gender, educational attainment, geography, and other worker characteristics. 

The Workforce Almanac: Mapping the US Workforce Development Sector

The workforce development sector plays an important role in creating pathways for economic opportunity and mobility for workers without four-year college degrees, yet little is known about the sector in aggregate. This project aims to address this significant knowledge gap by combining information from state, federal, and private data sources to build a new and comprehensive public-use dataset on the workforce development sector.

Underemployment in the US: Its Distribution and Effects on Workers

This project aims to address knowledge gaps on underemployment by painting a more detailed picture of who these workers are across a variety of dimensions, including demographic characteristics, scheduling conditions, industry, occupation, wage and household income levels.

Work Equity: Actionable Evidence to Mobilize Employers to Adopt Promising DEI Practices

The Work Equity initiative will generate evidence on small businesses’ approaches to equity in their practices and employment systems and the unique characteristics and needs of their workforce.

Do Language Restrictions on Obtaining Drivers Licenses Influence Labor Market Outcomes of Immigrants? 

This project seeks to determine whether immigrant workers’ wages and employment are negatively affected by language restrictions that limit their ability to obtain a driver’s license.

The Effects of Labor Organizing on Worker Welfare and Service Quality in the Healthcare Sector

This project will build evidence on the role of worker voice and representation in transforming low-wage jobs into good jobs and in creating safer health care settings. 

Addressing Racial Inequalities in Apprenticeships

This project aims to discern the drivers of racial inequalities in registered apprenticeships to design more equitable and inclusive programs, empower workers’ decisionmaking about apprenticeships, and improve enforcement of antidiscrimination policies.

Disaggregating Minimum Wage Impacts on Younger and Less Experienced Workers

This project seeks to understand how Seattle’s 2014 minimum wage ordinance affected younger workers across several indicators, including starting wages, employment stability, and earnings.

Economic Impact of Equity Provisions in Earned Safe and Sick Day Policies

This project will systematically analyze key legislative features of local earned safe and sick day policies across all 50 states, including equity provisions aimed at closing gaps in access and uptake of benefits.

Evidence-Based Subsidized Employment Programs 

Unemployment rates in California remain higher than the national rate, and expanded subsidized employment (ESE) programs in California appear to be underused by people who could most benefit from them This project will undertake a comprehensive mixed-method evaluation of California’s ESE programs.

Employee Experiences of Fair Workweek Ordinances

Fair workweek ordinances aim to improve the predictability, stability, and control over work hours and pay for millions of hourly wage employees. Yet little is known about how workers experience these laws. This project will address these knowledge gaps by building evidence on employee experiences of fair workweek ordinances.

A Workplace Divided: Survey Research and Stakeholder Engagement to Advance Equitable Workplaces

A national survey by Rutgers University found that Asian-American, Black, and Latino workers experience discrimination in private sector and government workplaces. Black workers, particularly black female workers, face the highest levels of discrimination, including unequal pay and denied promotions. The study highlights the impact of discrimination on career advancement and calls for interventions to promote equitable workplaces.

Achieving Greater Worker Voice, Equity and Mobility

This project seeks to build evidence on how different workers across industries and by race and gender experience efforts to gain voice and representation on the job through surveys of workers and labor organizers.

Accessing Pathways to Economic Security for Low-Wage Immigrant Manicurists

This project from the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative and the UCLA Labor Center explores how partnerships and sectoral boards can build a sustainable and equitable nail salon industry, focusing on two approaches from other sectors.

A Completed Sentence, but Ongoing Punishment: How Past Criminal Convictions Bar Floridians from Occupational Licensing Opportunities

This project will explore how Florida state regulations have stifled workforce development, the relationship between occupational licensing and recidivism, and policy proposals other states can employ to reduce barriers to workforce development for people with criminal records.

Fairness-Aware Machine Learning Models for Improving Workforce Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

A research team led by AdeptID and Grads of Life will test the use of predictive models that use artificial intelligence bias-mitigation technology to identify overlooked talent within employers’ applicant pools.

Cash for Coloradans and Evidence for Equitable Upskilling

For this project, the Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab will evaluate programs through which three training and career development nonprofits in Colorado are offering their clients different cash supports, such as stipends and no-interest loans.

Advancing Economic Mobility in Manufacturing

Northeast Ohio is a powerhouse of manufacturing with nearly 10,000 highly concentrated manufacturing companies. But the region’s manufacturing sector faces a significant talent shortage, with an estimated 8,000 open jobs that on average provide salary and benefits totaling $70,000.

Byte Back: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial on Digital Upskilling for Low-Tech Workers

The nonprofit Byte Back offers basic digital literacy programming for adults with little or no computer experience, a demographic that does not qualify for traditional tech training programs.

Small Business High-Road Labor Standards Intervention

What would it take for small businesses owned by immigrants and people of color to improve their labor standards?

Testing for the Active Ingredients: Piloting Career Advancement Services in the Information Technology Sector

While many sectoral workforce development programs include post-employment advancement services, little is known about how effective they are, how much value they add, or how best to design them. Understanding such programs’ efficacy is critical to identifying proven, scalable strategies to expand economic security and mobility for workers with low incomes, and in particular, workers of color.

Skilled Credentials at Work: Assessing Skilled Credentials as Part of an Inclusive Hiring Strategy

Findings from the project have the potential to strengthen employer hiring decisions, educational and workforce development approaches, and policy supports for skilled credentials.