More Proof That Occupational Licensing Stifles Jobs and Opportunity for Young Americans

A new study out this month highlights the damaging effects of needing a permission slip from the government to work, otherwise known as occupational licensing.

In the study, left-leaning University of Minnesota Professor Morris Kleiner found that state-based occupational licensing laws hinder Americans from accessing better opportunities in other geographic regions. Kleiner explains:

“We find that the between-state migration rate for individuals in occupations with state-specific licensing exam requirements is 36 percent lower relative to members of other occupations,” wrote Kleiner and fellow U of M Professor Janna Johnson.

In other words, occupational licensing laws make it harder for people to move to states with better jobs and opportunities. Eliminating many licenses would help states attract more skilled workers.

The report also advised states to look into increasing reciprocity agreements, which would protect Americans from having to get re-licensed to do the same work just because they move to another state.

“For example,” the study noted, “a licensed public schoolteacher with a decade of teaching experience in New Hampshire is not legally allowed to teach in an Illinois public school without completing significant new coursework and apprenticeships.”

To read more from the new study, click here.

To learn more about how occupational licensing hurts the economy and holds back young Americans, click here.

Finally, if you think it’s ridiculous that Americans need government permission slips to improve their lives, click here to let Congress know.

Author Geoff Holtzman

Geoff Holtzman is Generation Opportunity's Director of Communications. You can follow him on Twitter @Geoff_Holtzman.

More posts by Geoff Holtzman