People’s access to opportunity and advancement in the labor market is shaped by macroeconomic forces, technological change, policy choices, and labor market dynamics. Over the past 40 years, these influences have culminated in greater income inequality and less upward economic mobility for US workers. They have also contributed to a growing share of low-wage jobs in the US labor market. WorkRise generates evidence on and elevates our understanding of how macroeconomic, technological change, policy, and labor market dynamics influence economic security and mobility.

Working Knowledge

Economic context January 16, 2024

WorkRise Shorts: Agricultural Worker Shortage with Diane Charlton

January 16, 2024
Economic context January 09, 2024

WorkRise Shorts: Perspectives of Energy Workers in the US with Diane M. Sicotte

January 09, 2024
Economic context December 04, 2023

WorkRise Shorts: What’s Driving Wage Differences by Gender and Race? with Kate Bahn and Mark Stelzner

Research by Stelzner and WorkRise research director Kate Bahn looks at the persistent wage disparities between similar workers of different races, ethnicities, and genders. The analysis finds a larger wage penalty for women workers who are Latina or Black and highlights how employers’ profit-maximizing strategies can reinforce racism and misogynistic views by creating wage differences and rewarding discriminating firms.
December 04, 2023
Economic context October 31, 2023
Research Summary

Noncompete Agreements Hurt Economic Mobility for All Workers

Research shows that when noncompete agreements have high enforceability, workers earn less money and move jobs less frequently. This affects workers in nearby labor markets who are not under noncompete agreements, and widens gender and racial pay gaps.

Madeline Baxter

October 31, 2023


Workers talking in factory
Economic context Last updated on July 09, 2024

Expanding Worker Opportunities Through Evidence: WorkRise Impact Report 2023

By bridging knowledge gaps and forging multi-stakeholder partnerships among employers, worker advocates, policymakers, and practitioners, WorkRise is meaningfully improving economic mobility for lower-wage workers. Our 2023 Impact Report shares more about how we lead with rigorous yet actionable research and get it into the hands of the change makers best positioned to act on it.
Last updated on July 09, 2024
Economic context Report Last updated on May 14, 2024

Aligning Workforce and Economic Development to Benefit Workers

In this report, WorkRise examines what we know about the impacts of the workforce development and economic development fields and their implications for equitable economic outcomes for low-wage workers, especially Black individuals and other people of color who have faced systematic challenges in economic mobility.

WorkRise Research

Last updated on May 14, 2024
Economic context Report November 20, 2023

Quantifying the Costs of Rising Unemployment

Rising unemployment brings significant costs to workers, their families, social outcomes, and the economy at-large. The contemporary tight labor market provides a good opportunity for researchers to better understand the benefits of low unemployment and thus the risks of high unemployment.

Joe Peck

WorkRise Research

November 20, 2023
Economic context Infographic September 12, 2023

Leveraging Federal Funds to Create Quality Jobs

Do you want better jobs for your community? Through new federal dollars, state and local policymakers have a once-in-a-generation chance to build a new and thriving workforce.

Pamela J. Loprest , Todd Greene, Ryan Kelsey

WorkRise Research

September 12, 2023
Economic context Executive Summary March 15, 2023

How Past Criminal Convictions Bar Floridians from Occupational Licensing Opportunities

In this report, the Florida Policy Institute and the DeVoe L. Moore Center at Florida State University highlight research exploring the relationship between occupational licensing and recidivism and the consequences of overregulation on workforce development. The authors also survey the landscape of Florida’s occupational licensing laws and policy reform efforts and present policy proposals to reduce professional licensing barriers for people with criminal records.

Tachana Joseph-Marc, Samuel R. Staley

Grantee Research

March 15, 2023

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