License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing

 

 

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Watch the video: Should You Need the Government’s Permission to Work?

 
 

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Read The Des Moines Register's Pulitzer Finalist editorial series on licensing

By Dick M. Carpenter II, Ph.D.
Lisa Knepper
Angela C. Erickson
John K. Ross 


May 2012

License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing is the first national study to measure how burdensome occupational licensing laws are for lower-income workers and aspiring entrepreneurs.

The report documents the license requirements for 102 low- and moderate-income occupations—such as barber, massage therapist and preschool teacher—across all 50 states and the District of Columbia.  It finds that occupational licensing is not only widespread, but also overly burdensome and frequently irrational.

On average, these licenses force aspiring workers to spend nine months in education or training, pass one exam and pay more than $200 in fees.  One third of the licenses take more than a year to earn.  At least one exam is required for 79 of the occupations.

Barriers like these make it harder for people to find jobs and build new businesses that create jobs, particularly minorities, those of lesser means and those with less education.

License to Work recommends reducing or removing needless licensing barriers.  The report’s rankings of states and occupations by severity of licensure burdens make it easy to compare laws and identify those most in need of reform.



Contents


Executive Summary

 

Introduction

 

The Occupations

 

Ranking the Occupations

 

Ranking the States

 

The Irrationalities of Occupational Licensure

 

Protection from Competition, Not for Consumers

 

Alternatives to Licensure

 

Conclusion and Recomendations

 

State Profiles

 

Occupation Profiles

 

Sidebars

 

Appendix: Methods

 

Tables

Model Legislation, Op-eds, News Articles and Links

Table 1: Number of States that License 102 Lower-Income Occupations

Article: Red tape blues The Economist (July 5, 2014)

Table 2Estimated Demographics of Those Working in Lower-Income Occupations

National ReleaseTwo Major Reports Released Today on Gov’t & Work (May 8, 2012)

Table 3: Burdens of Licensure: Occupations Ranked by Average Burden

Model Economic Liberty Law

Table 4Breadth and Burden of Licensure: Occupations Ranked by Number and Average Burden of Licensed States Combined

Download licensing data

Table 5Average Occupational Requirements by Tier

IJ Economic Liberty Cases

Table 6: Number and Percentage of Low-Income Occupations Licensed by State
Economic Liberty Publications 
Table 7: States Ranked by Average Burden of Licensing Requirements
Editorials: Des Moines Register’s Pulitzer Finalist series on licensing
Table 8: States Ranked by Number and Average Burden of Licensing Requirements Combined
Table 9: Average State Requirements by Tier


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