Momentum Builds for Occupational Licensing Reform in 2019

For those of us concerned that states’ occupational licensing laws are inhibiting economic opportunity and hurting consumers, 2019 is off to a good start. Occupational licensing laws, which make it illegal to work in an occupation without getting the government’s permission, have proliferated over the last few decades. Today, licensing affects as many as 3 […]

The Victims of Occupational Licensing

As the issues of poverty, inequality, and economic mobility have gained traction in the American political debate, one central issue has been largely ignored: occupational licensing. It’s well-known that the best way to help the disadvantaged is to make it easier to find a good-paying job. Fewer than 3 percent of people with a full-time, […]

Excessive Occupational Licensing Regulations Hurt Consumers

Suppose there was a collection of laws, that cost the average American household $1,600 every year with little to no demonstrable benefit. You would hope voters would demand its repeal and policymakers would act swiftly to lift this needless burden. It turns out there are such laws — thousands of them, in fact. The culprits […]

Occupational Licensing Isn’t About Public Safety, It’s About Soaking Consumers

Consumers pay more than $200 billion per year in higher prices caused by occupational licensing regulations. And what do they get in return? Not much. Occupational licensing laws make it illegal to enter an occupation without the state’s seal of approval. They are ostensibly meant to protect the public from low-quality and unsafe services by […]

Excessive Occupational Licensing Costs Consumers Billions

If you’ve ever hired a plumber, got your hair cut, or remodeled your home, you probably overpaid. Thanks to government occupational licensing regulations, prices for those services — and thousands more — are artificially inflated, benefiting a select few at the expense of millions of American consumers. More than 1,000 occupations — including plumbers, barbers, […]

Occupational Licensing Doesn’t Improve the Quality of Services, It Makes It Worse

The proportion of U.S. workers who are required to hold a government license to do their job has grown substantially over the last seven decades. Today, nearly 3 in 10 workers are licensed, up from just 1 in 20 in 1950. Thousands of occupations require licensure in at least one state, ranging from barbers and […]

Occupational Licensure and the New Dark Ages

If you find yourself “between jobs” in Florida, you may notice job postings paying up to $11.85 per hour for a funeral attendant. The posting says you would be responsible for “placing a casket in a parlor or chapel prior to service, arranging floral offerings or lights around casket, directing or escorting mourners, and closing […]

Excessive Occupational Licensing Regulations Drive Up Prices and Reduce Consumer Welfare

Do you need a government license to do your job? If not, count yourself lucky. Cosmetologists, realtors, interior designers, funeral attendants, auctioneers, barbers — all must obtain a government license to work in most states. Whereas once licensing requirements were mostly confined to occupations related to health care and law, the percentage of American workers […]