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 October 23, 2023

In a Recession, Fewer Liquid Assets Add to Black Financial Instability

Black families are less likely to hold liquid assets than white families and are more vulnerable to economic downturns. Targeted policies can protect these families during the next recession and aid in closing the racial wealth gap.

Michael Neal, Madeline Baxter

October 23, 2023
Economic context August 02, 2023
Research Summary

US Tax Systems Perpetuate Racial Wealth Gap

Persistent income disparities between racial groups are evident – in 2022, Black men were paid 70% of the wages received by white men on average, while Black women received only 61% of the income compared to their white male counterparts.1

Oluwasekemi Odumosu

August 02, 2023
Economic context June 01, 2023

Young workers’ economic mobility has improved since the start of the pandemic, but work remains to solidify these gains

Research shows that young workers have seen significant gains in their employment prospects since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Joe Peck

June 01, 2023
Economic context May 03, 2023
Research Summary

Tighter Labor Markets Boost Occupational Mobility for Workers in Low-Quality Jobs

A recent Cleveland Fed study finds that tighter labor markets facilitate job upgrading, boosting upward mobility and access to good jobs for workers in low-quality occupations.

Andrew Boardman

May 03, 2023


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
Social determinants of work March 15, 2022

Expanding Child Care Subsidies to Parents in Education and Training

A fact sheet summarizes findings from a new WorkRise report that models a hypothetical policy scenario where more parents in education and training were eligible for and received public child care subsidies.

Gina Adams, Linda Giannarelli, Nathan Sick, Kelly Dwyer

Grantee Research

March 15, 2022
Social determinants of work Report March 15, 2022

Implications of Providing Child Care Assistance to Parents In Education and Training

New WorkRise research uses microsimulation to model a hypothetical policy scenario where more parents in education and training were eligible for and received public child care subsidies.

Gina Adams, Linda Giannarelli, Nathan Sick, Kelly Dwyer

Grantee Research

March 15, 2022

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