A Corporate Scorecard
of Worker Advancement

Learn more about the index


How AT&T, the Index’s top performer, extends the ladder of opportunity

An employee’s journey from call center to executive office illustrates a key Index conclusion: Where you work matters.


What The Index Reveals

The American Opportunity Index measures how well major employers are doing in fostering economic mobility for workers and how they could do better.


Growing careers while growing the global supply chain

At supply-chain giant Wesco, supplying the firm’s personnel needs involves providing skills and opportunities to entry-level workers.


How a great place to fly away became a great place to stay

Short-haul flight leader Southwest Airlines, where employees recruit their friends and family, is a leader in long-haul careers


A tech icon vaults entry-level hires into bigger roles

IBM’s focus on training helps prepare young workers for better jobs, even if some of those positions are at other companies.



The American Opportunity Index: A Corporate Scorecard of Worker Advancement

Joint Project of the Burning Glass Institute, the Harvard Business School Project on Managing the Future of Work, and the Schultz Family Foundation.

American Opportunity Index Reveals Which Large Companies Are Doing Best at Advancing Workers Up the Career Ladder

Press Release – 10/13/2022


Why The American Opportunity Index?

How the index was compiled

The American Opportunity Index focuses on three core dimensions of a firm’s opportunity generation: the access they offer to opportunity, the pay they offer in low- and middle-skill roles, and the level of mobility experienced by their employees both within and beyond the firm. We tapped into a new source of insight: big-data analysis of career histories, job postings, and salary sources–to describe the real-world experiences of actual workers.

Workers at top-performing firms will advance almost 3x further than workers at low-performing companies over five years.

Job-level score comparison between top quintile and bottom quintile firms.

Workers in top-performing firms earn almost 2.5x more than their peers in the same roles at low-performing firms. This can translate to a difference of $1.5 million or more over the course of their career.

Wage score comparison between top quintile and bottom quintile firms.

Employees at companies that are good at launching careers are over 60% more likely to land a better job when they leave for another employer versus those employed at low-performing firms.

Promoting out score comparison between top quintile and bottom quintile firms.

Top-performing companies are 4x more likely to hire people without significant experience than at low-performing companies.

Entry level hiring metric comparison between top quintile and bottom quintile firms.