Millions of Americans Are Unnecessarily Out of Work. Yelp Can Help.

One in four U.S. workers needs a government permission slip to do his or her job. In many cases, the time and money it takes to get one keeps people out of work—especially immigrants, young adults, and the least fortunate. 

These occupational licensing laws, with their tremendous cost in human potential, are enacted in the name of protecting the public from unqualified workers. But what if there was a tool that could provide this same service without burdensome work restrictions and requirements?

As it turns out, there is.

Review sites like Yelp and Angie’s List offer a wealth of insight into the performance of businesses and services, allowing customers to find those that best fit their needs while rooting out bad actors. At any given time, millions and millions of consumers are exchanging information about their experiences on countless forums throughout the internet.

Many Americans, young people especially, would rather trust the review of their peers than the judgement of government bureaucrats.

Burdensome occupational licensing laws are simply unnecessary, and much of the time the only proponents for such laws in a given industry are the entrenched special interests that benefit from them. While new workers and businesses are prevented from entering the market due to these laws, established businesses in the industry benefit from fewer competitors.

Licensing may result in 2.85 million fewer jobs with an annual cost to consumers of $203 billion, and states with strict occupational licensing laws see lower levels of entrepreneurship. It’s clear that reforming these laws could do wonders to put Americans to work and put money in their pockets.

People from both sides of the aisle are coming together as allies for this reform. Click here to join us.

Author Generation Opportunity

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