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Title: License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing
Contributors: Carpenter, Dick M., II
Sweetland, Kyle
Knepper, Lisa
McDonald, Jennifer
Keywords: Occupations—Licenses—United States
Occupations—Certification—United States
Small business—Licenses—United States
Entrepreneurship—United States
Minority business enterprises—United States
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Institute for Justice
Place of Publication: Arlilngton, Va.
Description: The right to earn an honest living has always been a fundamental American right. But in recent decades, this right has become increasingly circumscribed by occupational licensing laws. Occupational licensing is, put simply, government permission to work in a particular field. In the 1950s, about one in 20 American workers needed an occupational license before they could work in the occupation of their choice. Today, that figure stands at about one in four. Securing an occupational license may require education or experience, exams, fees, and more, and working without one can mean fines or even jail time. The growth of occupational licensing and the barriers it presents to job seekers have attracted mounting bipartisan concern. Policymakers, scholars and opinion leaders left, right and center are increasingly recognizing that licensing comes with high costs—fewer job opportunities and steeper prices—and does little to improve quality or protect consumers. This second edition of License to Work examines both the scope and the specific burdens of occupational licensing, documenting licensing requirements for 102 lower-income occupations across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It finds that these barriers to entry can pose substantial difficulties for job seekers and would-be entrepreneurs.
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Appears in Collections:Monographic reports and papers (Publicly Accessible)

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