Report: Only One Third Of Americans Display Career-Building Skills

The DeBruce Foundation researched 16,000 Americans to identify key factors in good career building.

Posted November 6, 2023

A study by the Kansas City-headquartered DeBreuce Foundation shows around one-third of Americans are employment empowered, defined as individuals having influence in work conditions, stability, income, benefits and fairness.

The study titled, Start Early, Succeed Sooner: Insights from the 2023 Employment Empowerment Study, gathered data from 16,000 Americans and found the highest characteristics for building empowerment in your career start with career literacy and network strength.

Career literacy is a vision for one’s career, self-awareness of skills and interests, capacity to communicate professional value, robust job search skills, and the capability to explore multiple career pathways, according to the DeBruce Foundation.

Furthermore, one in three working-age Americans are employment empowered with the remaining two-thirds low in Network Strength and/or Career Literacy, especially in 25-40 age groups.

The study’s key findings for those who are employment empowered:

  • 35% more likely to consider more jobs outside their current career path
  • 18% more likely to be currently employed
  • $30,000 more in average annual earnings when compared to those who are employment challenged

Factors based on gender and race were also recorded in the study.

DeBruce found females are more likely to be employment challenged than males with 38 percent of females being employment challenged compared to 31 percent in males.

For working-age Americans who are nonwhite (American Indian, Asian [including Pacific-Islanders and Hawaiian], Black, Latinx, and others.), the study shows 38 percent are employment challenged compared to 33 percent for whites.

View the full Employment Empowerment Study, here