The DeBruce Foundation Releases New National Research on Employment Empowerment

2023 Report Shows Only One-Third of Americans are Employment Empowered

Kansas City, MO, Nov. 02, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As part of National Career Development Month, The DeBruce Foundation, a national foundation dedicated to expanding career pathways, has released its annual national Employment Empowerment Study. Titled "Start Early, Succeed Sooner: Insights from the 2023 Employment Empowerment Study," the research builds on 2022 findings that identified Career Literacy and Network Strength as key factors in building empowered careers.

The study, which surveyed 16,000 Americans, found that working-age Americans who exhibit high Career Literacy and Network Strength are more employment empowered. Career Literacy, as defined by The DeBruce Foundation, 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. Network Strength is reliable and supportive connections with people spanning a diversity of industries, education levels, and social experiences. Employment Empowerment is characterized by having influence over work conditions, stability, income, benefits, fairness in employment, and rare, short spells of unemployment.

Those who are employment empowered are: 

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

However, only 1 in 3 working-age Americans are employment empowered, with the remaining two-thirds being low in Network Strength and/or Career Literacy. The benefits of Career Literacy and Network Strength for Employment Empowerment are stronger in younger age cohorts, according to the study.

"The 2023 Employment Empowerment Study once again highlights the importance of Career Literacy and Network Strength for achieving Employment Empowerment. Moreover, the data show the benefits of developing literacy and connections are stronger in younger people," said Dr. Leigh Anne Taylor Knight, Executive Director & COO of The DeBruce Foundation. 

The Foundation believes that for people to fully pursue economic opportunity, they must feel empowered to craft and effectively follow their career goals. By providing Career Literacy tools, facilitating network building, and collaborating strategically with mission-aligned partners, The DeBruce Foundation aims to unlock potential for people of all ages and backgrounds to chart empowered career pathways.

“November is National Career Development Month and the 2023 Employment Empowerment Study provides data-driven guidance on how to expand career pathways on a national scale,” said Taylor Knight. “Network Strength accelerates the power of Career Literacy, and that’s why we invite more institutions, organizations, and interested individuals to join forces with us to strengthen Employment Empowerment for individuals nationwide.”

To read the full report and learn more, click here.

The DeBruce Foundation is a national foundation whose mission is to expand pathways to economic growth and opportunity. The Foundation is committed to helping individuals unlock their potential and find career pathways. By developing solutions such as the Agile Work Profiler©, we change how people pursue careers. By partnering strategically, we increase experiences and exposure to widen career opportunities, starting with youth and working across the lifespan. Learn more at


The DeBruce Foundation's 2023 Employment Empowerment Report Findings from 2023 Employment Empowerment Report

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