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.

 FIU logo



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.

FIU Community Welcomes Local Economic Justice Activists and Celebrates Labor Center’s 40th Anniversary

On September 6, RISEP hosted a Labor Day forum with researchers and community activists who talked about the state of the economy and what communities are doing to organize for a fairer economy. Carlos A. Sanchez, an FIU graduate (‘11) and economics major, gave an overview of RISEP’s annual State of Working Florida report which [...]

Job Announcement

Associate Research Director
Florida International University, Miami 
The Research Institute on Social and Economic Policy (RISEP), the research arm of the Center for Labor Research and Studies invites applications for a non-tenure-track research faculty position to be appointed Fall 2011. We are searching broadly for candidates to fill the position of associate research director with expertise in [...]

Florida jobs deficit still near 1 million

Two years after the official end of the recession, Florida still has a jobs deficit of nearly 981,000 jobs, and some groups of workers are faring far worse than others in the economy, according to the annual State of Working Florida report to be released on Sunday by the Research Institute on Social and Economic [...]

State of Working Florida 2011

This report focuses on how workers are faring in Florida’s economy, and the overriding theme in 2011 is the stark contrasts in the impact of the recession on different groups of workers. While higher educated workers in higher paying jobs appear to be doing fairly well and even gaining ground in wages, lower educated workers, [...]

Economic Update: Job growth slows in June, recent gains mostly in low-wage industries

The last five months have seen steady declines in Florida’s unemployment rate, from 12% in December to 10.6% in May. The improvement leveled off in June, when the unemployment rate was unchanged. Since January 2010 the state has gained 85,500 jobs, according to seasonally adjusted figures, the longest and largest continuous gain since the recession [...]

Unemployment for Blacks, Hispanics in Florida saw sharp increase again in 2010

Cuts to unemployment benefit weeks would have disparate impact on workers of color, given the large difference in unemployment rates for Black and Hispanic workers. Average annual unemployment for all groups continued to go up from 2009 to 2010, but Black and Hispanic workers had much larger increases than White non-Hispanic workers. Hispanic unemployment increased [...]