RISEP publishes research and data on issues of concern to low and middle income workers and their families in Florida. Our work focuses on working conditions, low wage workers, working poverty, living wage law and minimum wage laws, and high road development.

RISEP also publishes data on Florida’s work force, labor market statistics, wage levels, poverty, employment, shifts in jobs, quality of employment, immigration, race and gender statistics.

RISEP is part of the Center for Labor Research and Studies of the School of International and Public Affairs at Florida International University.

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State of Working Florida 2014

This report focuses on wages and wage inequality instead of overall wealth or household income inequality because wages are the greatest source of income for most people and dramatically affect the quality of life and social mobility afforded to Floridians. In fact, wages not only determine how well families are doing but also ultimately determine [...]

Losing Ground: A Profile of Florida’s Families in Poverty

The 2012 American Community Survey (ACS) released by the U.S. Census Bureau’s
shows that 22.6% of Florida’s more than 18.6 million residents can be qualified as poor, in deep
poverty or near poverty. In fact, the poverty rates and total amounts of Floridians in deep
poverty, poverty and near poverty have all risen continuously between the years 2007 [...]

Wage Theft in Alachua County

The data in this report highlights wage theft cases reported to the Wage and Hour Division of the Florida office of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) in Alachua County and wage theft stories collected by the Alachua County Wage Theft Task Force3 and shared with RISEP. The data in this report is limited to [...]

Wage Theft in Broward County: The Accumulating Evidence of a Spreading Illegal Anti-Business Practice

This report is part of a series of reports monitoring the growing problem of wage theft in Florida.  Using previously analyzed data from the Federal Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division and stories collected from various community organizations, this report shows evidence of a widespread problem in Broward County.

The Current State of Wage Theft in Miami-Dade County

On February 18, 2010, Miami-Dade County commissioners voted 10 to 0 for the passage of the first county wide Wage Theft Ordinance in the country.  This report examines wage theft cases collected by the Small Business Development, the county office assigned to administer the Wage Theft Program. The report finds that wage theft claims filed [...]

The State of Working Florida 2012

This year’s State of Working Florida highlights how slow job creation has created growing inequalities in wages and among groups.  The Great Recession ended in 2009 but Florida continues to do worse than other states, especially those that have been able to boost manufacturing, which has in turn spurred growth.  This slow recovery has meant [...]

The Florida Minimum Wage: Good for Workers, Good for the Economy

This report explains the impact of the minimum wage in Florida, including which groups and industries benefit, the impact on employment, and how Florida compares with other states. Some key findings:
- The vast majority of minimum wage workers are adults working full time – only 10% of minimum wage workers are teenagers, and only 10% work [...]

Wage Theft: How Millions of Dollars are Stolen from Florida’s Workforce

The report finds that many of Florida’s workforce fall outside of federal labor laws; thus, other enforcement mechanisms such as Miami Dade’s Wage Theft Ordinance are needed to ensure that employees, communities, and local governments will not miss out on millions of stolen wages that are owed to them, and that [...]

State and Federal Unemployment Benefit Cuts Cost Millions for Workers and Florida’s Economy

As of October Florida’s unemployment rate was 10.3%, the lowest unemployment level since mid- 2009. This unemployment rate represents 955,000 jobless people out of a labor force of 9,228,000.This December unemployed Floridians face imminent cuts to their benefits both from the state and federal governments. If congress does not renew the Extended Benefits (EB) and [...]

Poverty increases for third straight year in 2010

Since the recession began in 2007, Florida has seen the largest increase in poverty in the nation. Three million Floridians, roughly 1 in 6 people, were living below poverty levels in 2010. In 2010, close to 1 in 4 children in the state were living in poverty.