Occupational licensing has grown dramatically over the years, leading to a larger share of American workers who need a license to perform their work. Accounting for just 5 percent of the employed population in the 1950s, licensed workers now comprise nearly 25 percent of all employed Americans. Spurred by concerns for public safety, consumer protection or other policy goals, the growth in state licensing over time has created a patchwork of different requirements across states. This inconsistency makes it difficult for workers to move their skills across state lines and, because of varying fees for obtaining licenses, costly for them to work in a licensed profession.
“When designed and implemented carefully, licensing can benefit consumers through higher quality services and improved health and safety standards,” found the 2015 “Occupational Licensing: Framework for Policymakers” report from the U.S. Council of Economic Advisers and departments of Labor and Treasury. The report noted, however, that current licensure rules impose burdens on workers, employers and consumers, and “too often are inconsistent, inefficient, and arbitrary.”
State policymakers play an important role in setting licensure policy and are at the heart of many efforts to strike the right balance needed to protect consumers and promote economic growth and employment opportunity. As described in this report, policymakers are enacting a wide range of strategies to calibrate their regulations to meet the needs of today’s consumers, workers, employers and job markets. Occupational licensing research offers important lessons about the effects, costs and benefits of licensing policies, as well as best practices and tools for designing a smart regulatory approach. Drawing from the vast body of occupa- tional licensing research, this report provides an overview of occupational licensing trends and policy issues, summarizes best practices and recommendations for licensing policies, and highlights state legislative and executive actions that aim to protect consumers, foster employment growth and remove barriers to work.
This report analyzes occupational licensing literature that addresses the following questions:
What is the current occupational licensing landscape in the United States?
What are the educational and training barriers to labor market entry for worker populations targeted by the Occupational Licensing Research Consortium project? (see box)
What key findings, trends and recommendations can be gleaned from the research to inform this project?
What are researchers and industry leaders identifying as policy barriers to interstate portability and reciprocity of occupational licensing and labor market entry for workers?
What are occupational licensing best practices and state policy recommendations?
To answer these questions, we identified and reviewed a wide range of primary and secondary sources, including reports, literature reviews, articles, white papers and labor statistics published by federal and state agencies, think tanks, nonprofit organizations, academic experts, trade associations and digital media sources. Legislative research tools and databases, such as LexisNexis State Net and Westlaw, and state agency and legislative webpages, provided many of the state legislative examples profiled in this report. The consortium’s expert panel, which has diverse representation from topical experts, public agencies and the project’s partner organizations (National Conference of State Legislatures, The Council of State Governments and National Governors Association Center for Best Practices), reviewed the list of sources and offered additional recommendations, a process that assured that relevant and key resources were considered for this research. The complete bibliography is presented in Appendix A.
The report focuses on licensure requirements that affect the types of occupations studied as part of the Occupational Licensing Research Consortium project. The 34 occupations studied in this NCSL-led project, summarized in Appendix B, typically require an entry-level education (i.e., less than a bachelor’s degree), are licensed in at least 30 states and have a greater than average projected job growth rate.
An occupational license is a credential that government—most often states—requires a worker to hold in certain occupations. Aspiring workers must meet state-specific educational, training, testing and other requirements to practice in a licensed profession. While some professions, such as physicians and attorneys, are universally licensed in states, a growing number of occupations are now licensed by states. These include jobs that are commonly licensed across all states—e.g., cosmetologists, school bus and truck drivers, and emergency medical technicians—as well as others, like florists and interior designers, which are licensed in a small number of states. Licensing is just one form of occupational regulation, which also includes less restrictive methods, ranging from reliance on market forces to inspections, registration and voluntary certification—a continuum of approaches that are discussed later in this report.
State policymakers play a critical and longstanding role in occupational licensing policies, dating back to the late 19th century when the Supreme Court decision in Dent v. West Virginia established states’ rights to regulate certain professions. Shortly after, states began developing their own systems of occupational regulation and licensing. State policymakers play a central role in developing and shaping these systems by:
According to a 2015 brief published by the Council on Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation, “civic leaders, elected officials, and courts have struggled to balance legitimate interests in protecting public health and safety with the preservation of free practice.” Striking the right balance represents an opportunity for policymakers to achieve important public policy goals, including consumer protection, job creation, workforce mobility and economic growth. Removing employment barriers for unique populations, such as immigrants with work authorization, military families and people with criminal records, offers a powerful lever to achieve multiple policy goals. These include employment growth, reduced recidivism for employed ex-offenders, enhanced geographic mobility, and economic stability and opportunity for individuals and their families.
The share of American workers who hold an occupational license has grown five-fold over the last several decades, from around five percent of the employed population in the 1950s to almost a quarter of all employed workers today (Figure 1). According to the Council of Economic Advisors, a significant increase in the number of licensed professions accounts for two-thirds of this growth, with authors noting that “licensing has expanded considerably into sectors that were not historically associated with it,” such as sales, construction, personal care and protective services. Of the 1,100 occupations that were licensed in at least one state in 2016, a small number—less than 60—were licensed in every state, illustrating the considerable differences in licensure requirements from state to state.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 22 percent of U.S. workers had a state license to work in their designated occupation in 2016.9 Licensure varies depending on occupation type, education attainment, gender, race and ethnicity, and other variables, the BLS found, noting that:
As shown in Figure 2, states vary considerably in the share of their workforce that holds a license, ranging from 12 percent in South Carolina to 33 percent in Iowa. States also differ in which occupations they license. Every state licenses emergency medical technicians, bus and truck drivers, and cosmetologists, while three or fewer states license professions such as home entertainment installers, nursery workers, conveyer operators and florists.
The minimum requirements and costs to obtain and keep a license to work in the same occupation vary widely across states. So does the licensing process itself, with differences in the availability of distance or online learning for continuing education often required to obtain a license. In contrast to Michigan’s requirement that licensed security guards have three years of education and training, most states require 11 days or less. Licensed cosmetologists in Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota need 16 months of education, double what is required for their counterparts in New York and Massachusetts. The lack of uniformity across state lines makes it difficult for workers in licensed occupations to move across state lines and raises questions about the rules’ rationale and impact on health and safety, or a worker’s ability to perform the occupational tasks. Even among states with uniform, or near-uniform, licensing requirements, workforce mobility may be hindered by a lack of reciprocity in credentialing; for example, states often only recognize training from schools and other institutions outlined in statute or regulation.
When implemented appropriately, licensing can offer important health and safety benefits and consumer protections, and provide workers with clear professional development and training guidelines, as well as a career path. For decades, policymakers have adopted licensure policies to achieve a variety of goals. The Federal Trade Commission’s 1990 report on the costs and benefits of licensure found that well-designed occupational licensing “can protect the public’s health and safety by increasing the quality of professionals’ services through mandatory entry requirements—such as education—and business practice restrictions— such as advertising restrictions.” The report found that occupational licensing helps consumers when they cannot easily assess the professional’s skills, and when the costs related to poor quality are especially high, as is the case with emergency health care providers. Economist Jason Furman testified to Congress in 2016 that the argument for licensing “is strongest when low-quality practitioners can potentially inflict serious harm, or when it is difficult for consumers to evaluate provider quality beforehand.” Furman points out that the threats to consumers from incompetent commercial pilots and physicians justify a government intervention; whereas, they face less harm and are better able to assess the quality of florists, barbers or decorators.
Some professional associations argue that licensing protects consumers and promotes public health and safety. The Professional Beauty Association, for example, supports “common- sense, practical changes,” including a move to more standardized licensing criteria across state lines. However, it cautions policymakers about the potential consequences of deregulating the 1.1 million professionals working in the beauty industry, stating that “[f]ormal education and industry regulation is necessary for a professional to learn the techniques, principles, sanitation, and chemical procedures to safeguard consumers, and themselves, against injury and illness.”
Finally, occupational licensing helps consumers when traditional market mechanisms—such as a provider’s concern about possible litigation or damaged reputation—fail to protect them from poorly trained or fraudulent providers. Licensure offers the public an assurance that the individual has met certain educational, training or experience standards.
Today’s information-sharing economy and the growth of online consumer review websites help consumers evaluate provider quality and reputation. The enhanced access to information and strong provider incentives to deliver high-quality services bolster claims by experts that alternate regulatory approaches could achieve the same goals as licensing. Harvard and Stanford researchers found that, while licensure is not directly associated with improved quality of goods or services, there is a relationship between licensing and increased consumer confidence that can lead to increased economic activity. Additionally, the study argues that licensure can lead to consumers becoming more informed about the licensed service, which makes it more likely that they will “upgrade to higher quality services.” As a result, the researchers find an indirect improvement in the average level of quality provided in a market because of licensing.
In order to realize the benefits of occupational licensure, rules must “closely match the qualifications needed to perform the job, a goal that is not always achieved or may not be maintained when licensing expands and jobs change,” found a 2015 report by the Council of Economic Advisers and the departments of Labor and Treasury. More recently, the Federal Trade Commission asserted that unnecessary licensure regulations “erect significant barriers and impose costs that cause real harm to American workers, employers, consumers and our economy as a whole, with no measurable benefits to consumers or society.” Acting FTC Chairman Maureen Ohlhauser asserted this year that “occupational licensing disproportionately affects those seeking to move up the lower and middle rungs of the economic ladder, as well as military families and veterans.” She noted that licensing requirements “can prevent individuals from using their vocational skills and entering new professions, as well as starting small businesses or creating new business models.”
The growth of occupational licensing in the states, and the inconsistent requirements among them, has come at a steep price to workers, employers, consumers and government. “In occupational licensing, the prevalent costs are increased prices to consumers for goods and services and lost job opportunities for aspiring workers,” noted Dick M. Carpenter and Lee McGrath in a 2015 policy brief. Moreover, Morris Kleiner, economics professor at University of Minnesota’s Center for Human Resources and Labor Studies, asserted that, “With growth of licensing laws has come a national patchwork of stealth regulation that has, among other things, restricted labor markets, innovation, and worker mobility.” Kleiner further asserted that licensing resulted in 2.85 million fewer jobs nationally, with an annual cost to consumers of $203 billion.
The burdens to American workers vary by state and occupation. The Institute of Justice’s 2012 License to Work report ranked states based on the burdens imposed across 102 low- and moderate-income licensed occupations. The state comparisons revealed several inconsistencies across states: Many occupations are licensed in a small number of states, the same occupations have significantly different training requirements across states, and licensure requirements do not always align with public health or safety concerns. Researchers point out that cosmetologists require an average of 372 training days, significantly higher than emergency medical technicians, who need an average of 33 training days.
Research indicates that unnecessary licensing requirements reduce employment in licensed occupations and reduce wages for unlicensed workers relative to their licensed counterparts. Occupational licensing requirements—including the need to pass exams, attend continuing education, and pay licensing and renewal fees—present significant barriers to entering a licensed occupation and can reduce total employment in that profession.
Occupational licensing can result in higher wages for licensed workers, which in turn increases consumer costs. Stephen Slivinski from the Goldwater Institute notes that licensing leads to wage inequality in the following ways: “first by keeping people from entering higher-wage occupations, and then by raising wages for those already in high-income occupations.” While higher wages benefit licensed workers, wage disparity can lead to “inefficiency and unfairness, including reducing employment opportunities and depressing wages for excluded workers, reducing workers’ mobility across state lines, and increasing costs for consumers.”
Research indicates that licensing requirements increase the price of goods and services. Occupational licensing imposes costs in the form of fees and educational requirements on American workers, often because of arbitrary rationale and inconsistent rules across states. The requirements drive away potential workers, especially those for whom the costs of obtaining licensure are too high. “By imposing requirements on people seeking to enter licensed professions—such as additional training and education, fees, exams, and paperwork—licensing reduces employment in the licensed occupation and hence competition, driving up the price of goods and services for consumers.”
Researchers find little evidence that licensure improves the quality of services or protects consumers from harm. In fact, evidence suggests that the most onerous licensure laws may lead to lower-quality services and increased public safety risks. Licensing reduces the supply of service providers while simultaneously increasing the average operating costs for professionals. The result of limited consumer choice and increased prices can be a provision of licensed services at a rate below true market equilibrium; in other words, consumers forego necessary services because prices are too high or no one is available for hire. This situation can pose a threat to public safety in certain occupations. For example, the inability to legally hire an electrician for repairs may lead to electrocution or fire. Similarly, licensing that limits the supply and increases the cost of veterinarians may prevent animal owners from vaccinating against contagious diseases like rabies.
Licensing rules limit geographic mobility for licensed workers. Licensed work- ers are less likely than unlicensed workers with similar education to move to a new state, in part because they may be required to complete new training and educational requirements or pay fees. Labor market fluidity—or the ease and prevalence of relocating for a job—is vital to employment growth, particularly for the young and less educated. Among men under 25 without a high school degree, a 1 percent fall in labor fluidity corresponds to a 1.43 percent increase in their unemployment. Strict occupational licensing requirements limit the value of interstate relocation as a tool to combat unemployment.
The barriers described above are especially problematic for low-income individuals, people with criminal records, members of the military and their spouses, and immigrants with work authorization. In 2017, Ryan Nunn wrote that, “…[E]xcessive licensing imposes costs on a wide variety of distinct groups, including people with criminal records, immigrants, military families, low-skilled workers, and entrepreneurs—not to mention consumers.” According to Nunn, an “inflexible vision of how work should be organized” has needlessly prevented individuals with criminal records, military veterans and others from entering licensed professions. The burdens facing specific worker populations are summarized below.
Active-Duty Military, Veterans and Spouses. Licensing requirements make it difficult for the 360,000 service members who leave or retire from active duty, guard and reserve service each year, from entering occupations that they may be qualified to practice. Licensing is a burden for the highly mobile population of military spouses, one-third of whom work in occupations that require licenses or certification. Compared to civilians, military spouses are 10 times more likely to have moved across states in the last year, making it difficult and costly for them to obtain a new license every time they move to a new state. The obstacles may deter military spouses from participating in the labor market altogether.
Immigrants with Work Authorization. The current licensure system deters skilled immigrants with work authorization from working in jobs for which they have experience and training, hampering their ability to contribute their skills to the U.S. economy. While 30 percent of working-age immigrants had a college degree in 2010, research suggests that costly and duplicative licensing requirements make it difficult for skilled immi- grants with work authorization to find employment that uses their skills.
People with Criminal Records. In 2016, economist Stephen Slivinski found that having a good job reduces the likelihood that a former offender will recidivate. Individuals with a criminal record are more likely to succeed and less likely to reoffend if they have a job. However, people with a criminal record—one-third of all Americans—can be denied an occupational license in half the states, regardless of whether their criminal record relates to the job they are seeking or how long ago the conviction occurred. As shown in Figure 3, 25 states require a direct connection between the type of license being sought and the applicant’s criminal history, stating why the offense would disqualify the applicant, while the other 25 states and Washington, D.C. lack such standards. The American Bar Association found more than 27,000 state occupational license restrictions for former offenders, such as provisions that list “good moral character” as a requirement for obtaining a license.
Low-Income or Unemployed Workers. Licensing is especially costly to low-income Americans and unem- ployed or dislocated workers who may lack resources to pay for the necessary education and training, as well as licensing fees and other licensing costs. The Institute for Justice’s 2012 License to Work report found that states impose licensing burdens and costs on low-income occupations. For example, in Arizona, licenses aver- age $450 in fees, 599 training days, and are required for 64 low-income jobs. According to Veronique de Rugy of George Mason University’s Mercatus Center, “[b]y placing barriers to entry on jobs that could otherwise be performed by low-income individuals, these states remove the bottom rung of the ladder of opportunity for the citizens who need it most.”
The costs of occupational licensing have “generated calls, from both sides of the political spectrum, to rethink the system,” Kleiner observed in a 2015 analysis. As described below, research suggests various policy considerations and options for policymakers involved in developing or refining their state’s regulatory approach.
According to a 2014 Pew Charitable Trusts’ report, “[e]vidence-based policymaking uses the best available research and information on program results to guide decisions at all stages of the policy process and in each branch of government.” A careful review of costs and benefits data, as well as an accurate understanding about the need for regulations, are critical and foundational steps in occupational regulation. The 2015 “Framework for Policymakers” report recommends that policymakers adopt the best practice of “facilitating a careful consideration of licensure’s costs and benefits.” Sunrise and sunset provisions offer an important way for policymakers to consider the merits of licensure and its effects on public health and safety, provider supply, administrative costs, and the price of goods and services. The report recommends strengthening sunrise and sunset reviews by providing adequate resources, ensuring that the review process is “insulated against political interference.”
After the problem has been defined, policymakers can select the most effective approach from a continuum of regulatory options, including those listed and defined in Table 1. As stated in the 2015 “Framework for Policymakers,” “ … licensing policies can be designed in many different ways, and the ways in which they are designed and implemented affect workers’ access to jobs, the wages they are paid, the ease with which they can move across state lines, as well as consumers’ access to essential goods and services.” As shown in Table 1, the spectrum of occupational regulation includes the least restrictive form of no government regulation or relying on market forces, to the most stringent form of regulation, occupational licensing.
|Regulatory Approach||Approach Defined|
|No government intervention||Market forces—e.g., the providers’ desire to grow a business and maintain their reputation among competitors—creates incentives for providers to maintain skills and professionalism and deliver high-quality services.|
|Private civil action
|A consumer’s ability to pursue civil action may alone compel providers to deliver high-quality services to avoid litigation or loss of reputation.
|Random inspections, such as government inspections of restaurants, provide an alternative way to assure cleanliness, safety and necessary skills.|
|Bonding or insurance||Mandatory bonding or insurance can protect consumers and the public by ensuring that the provider is able to cover the cost of consumer damages.|
|Registration||States require individuals in certain occupations to register with a governmental agency before practicing and sometimes file a surety bond or fee.|
|Voluntary Certification||A certificate is a credential that is typically valued by the labor market, but not legally necessary for working a specific occupation. Certified individuals can use a designated title, such as certified mechanic or certified financial planner. Private entities typically provide certificates to people who pass an exam or otherwise demonstrate their skills and knowledge needed for a specific occupation.|
|Licensure||An occupational license is a credential that government requires a worker to hold in certain occupations. While some professions, such as physicians and attor- neys, are “universally licensed,” a growing number of occupations are licensed only in certain states, creating inconsistent licensing requirements across states. Prospective workers must meet state educational, training or testing require- ments before working in a growing number of licensed occupations. Typically, state legislatures set their own licensing policy and authorize state regulatory boards to license applicants and oversee workforce compliance.|
Source: Adapted from CLEAR Resource Brief, “The Balance Between Public Protection and the Right to Earn a Living,” Carpenter and McGrath, 2015.
Among its best practices, the 2015 “Framework for Policymakers” report recommends that policymakers “ensure that licensing restrictions are closely targeted to protecting public health and safety, and are not overly broad or burdensome.” The report discourages policies that categorically exclude individuals with criminal records, and supports policies that only exclude individuals whose convictions are recent, relevant and pose a threat to public safety. In a 2015 paper on occupational licensing reform, Kleiner proposed certification as a substitute for licensing in occupations that don’t pose enough risk to health and safety to warrant licensing, such as locksmiths, ballroom dance instructors, interior designers, pet groomers and auctioneers. The shift would save states money by reducing administrative costs spent on licensure. As described on page 15, Indiana adopted a voluntary state certification program for individuals who wish to use the state-certified designation.
The “Framework for Policymakers” report recommends synchronizing licensing requirements across states when possible and forming interstate compacts to make it easier for workers who move to another state. In 2017, Federal Trade Commission Acting Chairman Maureen Oehlausen stated that, “reforms that promote reciprocity among states and credit work experience in place of additional requirements are among the changes that would help remove barriers to entry and competition, particularly for military families and veterans.” Existing professional compacts, such as the enhanced nurse licensure compact adopted in 26 states, or the physical therapy interstate compact in effect in 11 states, provide examples of interstate arrangements for specific occupations. The Institute for Justice’s model state legislation seeks to help states remove barriers, including for people with criminal records, and use the least-restrictive methods to protect public health and safety.
As states grapple with licensure issues and reforms, many are incorporating the available evidence, described in the previous section, on best practices and policy options for occupational licensing. Routes for occupation- al licensing reform are summarized below.
States have adopted new licensing requirements, changed existing ones or eliminated licensing rules altogether. A 2015 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics analysis found that state legislatures de-licensed an occupation just eight times over the prior 40 years. For example, the Alabama Legislature de-licensed barbers in1983, a decision that was later reversed when the Legislature licensed barbers in 2013. Colorado and Virginia eliminated mandatory licensing for private investigators and naturopaths, respectively. A subsequent 2017 analysis by the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty identified additional states—Arizona, Michigan and Rhode Island—that deregulated occupations after formal reviews found that licensure did not serve a compelling state interest.
During the 2012–2013 legislative sessions, Kleiner found that at least seven new occupations were licensed, including scrap metal recyclers in Louisiana, therapeutic shoe fitters in Alabama, and body artists in the District of Columbia. During the same period, governors in Idaho, Indiana and Iowa vetoed legislation that would have licensed several new occupations.
Policymakers have increasingly proposed and enacted legislation to lessen requirements, shift to a less restrictive approach (such as voluntary certification) or restrict the scope of an existing license requirement as it applies to a specific type of worker. The 2015 Occupational Licensing Framework found that since 2012, many states have passed legislation to promote licensing reciprocity for spouses of active military service members. In recent years, several states, including those listed below, proposed legislation that would remove or lessen occupational requirements that were believed to stifle employment growth.
Several states have taken steps to exempt certain types of workers from a licensure requirement, sometimes in response to a federal court ruling that found it unconstitutional. Following court cases that deemed licensure as unconstitutional for hair braiders, for example, several states have revised their cosmetology licensure laws to exempt hair braiders. The Utah Legislature passed a revised cosmetology and hair braiding law in 2013 that exempted hair braiders from licensing requirements and reduced the cosmetologist training requirements from 2,000 hours to 1,600 hours. Other states, including California, Oregon and Mississippi, also exempted hair braiders from licensure. Maryland’s 2016 SB 830 created a limited cosmetology license for blow-dry-only salons, reducing the required training hours from 1,500 to 350 hours.
States have adopted sunrise and sunset reviews, audits, active supervision and other procedures to weigh the costs and benefits of existing and proposed occupational licensure. According to the Council on Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation, by 2017, at least 14 states adopted a sunrise process for proposed regulations and 36 states had some form of sunset process for existing occupational licensing laws.
To prevent the potential conflict of interest rising from industry insiders writing the licensing rules that regulate their own industry, lawmakers can extend executive and legislative review powers over industry board actions. Further, the Supreme Court ruling in North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission has forced a re-examination of the legal structure of licensing boards to maintain compliance with the federal Sherman Anti-Trust Act.
In recent years, some states have considered or enacted broad changes to the state’s overall occupational regulatory approach. Despite the overall growth in occupational licensure described above, Kleiner notes that “several proposals have been made to slow the growth of occupational licensing in favor of certification.” Indiana’s approach, for example, represents a shift in the direction of voluntary certification. As described below, policymakers have enacted executive orders and legislation to examine existing requirements and impacts, consider less-restrictive options and develop recommendations to improve the state’s licensing approach.
The last several decades have seen a dramatic growth in the number of licensed occupations and the share of workers who have a license to perform their work. The growth in licensure could influence worker wages, consumer prices, employment in licensed occupations, disadvantaged or populations with challenges who want to work in a licensed occupation, and mobility for workers who want to take their skills across state lines. Moreover, research suggests that licensing policies do not always achieve intended quality, public health or safety outcomes. At the center of these crucial conversations are state policymakers, who establish most occupational licensure requirements and for whom the goals of consumer protection and economic opportunity and growth are paramount concerns. Moving forward, states will continue to learn from one another as they adopt and refine regulatory practices that seek to remove barriers to work and improve portability across state lines.
Books, Reports and Studies
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Little Hoover Commission. Jobs for Californians: Strategies to ease occupational licensing barriers (Report #234). Sacramento, Calif.: Little Hoover Commission, 2016, http://www.lhc.ca.gov/studies/234/Report234.pdf.
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Meyers, Roberta; Ray P. McClain; and Lewis Maltby. Best Practice Standards: The Proper Use of Criminal Records in Hiring. New York, N.Y.: The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law, The Legal Action Center, and National Workrights Institute, 2013, http://hirenetwork.org/sites/default/files/Best-Practices-Standards-The- Proper-Use-of-Criminal-Records- in-Hiring.pdf.
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Natividad Rodriguez, Michelle, and Beth Avery. Unlicensed and Untapped: Removing Barriers to Occupational Licenses for People with Criminal Records. Washington, D.C.: National Employment Law Project, April 2016, http://nelp.org/content/uploads/Unlicensed-Untapped-Removing-Barriers-State-Occupational-Licenses.pdf.
Nunn, Ryan. Occupational Licensing and American Workers. Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 2016, https://www.brookings.edu/research/occupational-licensing-and-the-american- worker/.
. “The Future of Occupational Licensing Reform.” The Regulatory Review Jan. 30, 2017, https://www. theregreview.org/2017/01/30/nunn-future-occupational-licensing-reform/.
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Pham, Nam D., and Anil Sarda. The Value of Cosmetology Licensing to the Health, Safety and Economy of America. Washington, D.C.: NDP Analytics, December 2014, http://futurebeautyindustrycoalition.com/wp- content/uploads/2016/12/PBA-Report-December-19-2014_AB.pdf.
Sherman, Amy; Becky Klein-Collins; and Iris Palmer. College Productivity Resource Guide for State Leaders: State Policy Approaches to Support Prior Learning Assessment. Chicago, Ill., and Washington, D.C.: Council for Adult and Experiential Learning and HCM Strategists, 2012, http://strategylabs.luminafoundation.org/wp-content/ uploads/2013/09/cp_resource_guide_final_0 -copy.pdf.
Shimberg, Benjamin, and Doug Roederer. Questions a Legislator Should Ask. Lexington, Ky.: Council on Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation, 1994.
Skorup, J. This isn’t working: How Michigan’s licensing laws hurt workers and consumers. Midland, Mich.: Mackinac Center for Public Policy, 2017, https://www.mackinac.org/archives/2017/s2017-02.pdf.
Slivinski, S. Bootstraps tangled in red tape: How state occupational licensing hinders low-income entrepreneurship (Policy Report No. 272). Phoenix, Ariz.: Goldwater Institute, 2015, https://goldwater-media. s3.amazonaws.com/cms_page_media/2015/4/15/OccLicensingKauffman.pdf.
). Turning shackles into bootstraps: Why occupational licensing reform is the missing piece of criminal justice reform (Policy Report No. 2016-01). Tempe, Ariz.: Center for the Study of Economic Liberty, Arizona State University, 2016, https://research.wpcarey.asu.edu/economic-liberty/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/CSEL- Policy-Report-2016-01-Turning-Shackles-into-Bootstraps.pdf.
Summers, Adam B. Occupational Licensing: Ranking the States and Exploring Alternatives. Los Angeles: Reason Foundation, 2007, http://reason.org/files/762c8fe96431b6fa5e27ca64eaa1818b.pdf.
Snyder, T. J. The effects of Arkansas’ occupational licensure regulations. Conway, Ark.: Arkansas Center for Research in Economics, University of Central Arkansas, 2016, http://uca.edu/acre/files/2016/06/The-Effects-of- Arkansas-Occupational-Licensure-Regulations-by-Dr.-Thomas-Snyder.pdf.
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. “Private Sector Veteran Hiring Protection Best Practices.” Arlington, Va.: DOD, 2016, http://download. militaryonesource.mil/12038/USA4/2016/best-practices/Veterans-Hire-Preference-BPI4.pdf.
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Articles, Blogs, Fact Sheets, Testimony, Position Statements and Presentations
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Boudreaux, Donald. “Occupational Licensing: Reality Differs from Skilled Rhetoric.” Arlington, Va.: George Mason University, March 25, 2014, https://www.mercatus.org/expert_commentary/occupational-licensing-reality- differs-rhetoric.
Bowen, Alison, and Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz. “Skilled Immigrants Often Struggle to Put Degrees, Credentials to Use
in U.S.” Chicago Tribune March 27, 2017, http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-merit-immigration-brain- waste-20170326-story.html.
Bryan, Darcy N.; Jared Roads; and Robert Graboyes. “Occupational Regulation.” Arlington, Va.: Mercatus Center and George Mason University, Dec. 1, 2016, https://www.mercatus.org/hoap/occupational-regulation.
Council on Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation. “Glossary of General Terminology Used in Professional and Occupational Regulation. Nicholasville, Ky.: CLEAR, 2010, http://www.clearhq.org/resources/Glossary_General. pdf.
Furman, Jason. “Occupational Licensing and American Rents.” Presentation for the Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C., Nov. 2, 2015, https://www.brookings.edu/wp- content/uploads/2015/10/20151102_furman_ licensing_presentation.pdf.
. Prepared Testimony before the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights. February 2016, https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/ media/doc/02-02-16%20Furman%20Testimony.pdf.
Graham, Ruth. “The Retraining Paradox.” The New York Times Magazine Feb. 23, 2017.
Kearney, Melissa; Brad Hershbein; and David Boddy. “Nearly 30 Percent of Workers in the U.S. Need a License to Perform Their Job: It Is Time to Examine Occupational Licensing Practices.” Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, Jan. 27, 2015, http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/up-front/posts/2015/01/26-time-to-examine- occupational-licensingpractices- kearney-hershbein-boddy.
Knepper, Lisa. “How Licensing Laws Kill Jobs.” The Atlantic, Sept. 13, 2012, https://www.theatlantic.com/ business/archive/2012/09/how-licensing-laws-kill-jobs/262164/.
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Nunn, Ryan. “An Economic Framework for Licensing Reform.” Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy Spring Forum. Alexandria, Va.: FSBPT, Spring 2016, https://www.fsbpt.org/Portals/0/documents/free-resources/ Forum_Spring2016_Reform.pdf.
Pethokoukis, James. “The Terrible Economic Burden of Occupational Licensing.” Washington, D.C.: American Enterprise Institute, April 21, 2014, https://www.aei.org/publication/the-terrible-economic-burden-of- occupational-licensing/.
Selingo, Jeffrey J. “Wanted: Factory Workers, Degree Required.” The New York Times, Jan. 30, 2017, https:// www.nytimes.com/2017/01/30/education/edlife/factory-workers- college-degree-apprenticeships.html.
Shafer, Mathew. “North Carolina Looks to Ease Occupational Licensure Requirements for Military Families.” Washington, D.C.: The Council of State Governments, March 30, 2017, http://knowledgecenter.csg.org/kc/ content/north-carolina-looks-ease-occupational-licensure-requirements-military-families.
. “The Grades Are In: How Well Is Your State Licensing People with Criminal Records?” Washington, D.C.: The Council of State Governments, March 20, 2017. http://knowledgecenter.csg.org/kc/content/grades-are- how-well-your-state-licensing-people-criminal-records.
Sharpe, Bridget. “Protect Your License: Keep Beauty Professional.” Scottsdale, Ariz.: Professional Beauty Association, Nov. 3, 2014, https://probeauty.org/images/advocacy/news/2014/Progress%20November%20 3,%202014%20Keep%20Beauty%20Professional.pdf.
Soltas, Evan. “Occupational Licensing Is Replacing Labor Unions and Exacerbating Inequality.” Vox, April 18, 2014, http://www.vox.com/2014/4/18/5627630/occupational- licensing-is-replacing-labor-unions-and-exacerbating.
Timmons, Edward J. “Medical Licensing Laws Stand in the Way of Affordable Health Care.” U.S. News and World Report, Jan. 26, 2016, https://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/policy-dose/articles/2016-01-26/medical- licensing-laws-stand-in-the-way-of-affordable-health-care.
Weiss, Suzanne. “Licensed to Labor.” State Legislatures (National Conference of State Legislatures) January 2017, http://www.ncsl.org/bookstore/state-legislatures- magazine/licensed-to-labor636179334.aspx.
White House Office of the Press Secretary. “Fact Sheet: New Steps to Reduce Unnecessary Occupation Licenses that Are Limiting Worker Mobility and Reducing Wages.” Washington, D.C., June 17, 2016, https:// obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2016/06/17/fact-sheet-new-steps-reduce-unnecessary- occupation-licenses-are-limiting.
ADDITIONAL WEBPAGE TOOLS AND RESOURCES
Council of State Governments. “Bibliography/Resources: Inventory and Studies of Collateral Consequences.” Washington, D.C.: CSG, n.d., https://niccc.csgjusticecenter.org/resources/.
Council of State Governments Justice Center. “National Inventory of the Collateral Consequences of Conviction.” Washington, D.C.: CSG, n.d., https://niccc.csgjusticecenter.org/.
Council on Licensure, Enforcement & Regulation, “Sunrise, Sunset and State Agency Audits.” Nicholasville, Ky.: CLEAR, 2017, http://www.clearhq.org/page-486181.
Federal Trade Commission. “Economic Liberty.” Washington, D.C.: FTC, Feb. 23, 2017, https://www.ftc.gov/ policy/advocacy/economic-liberty.
Upwardly Global. “Newsroom.” Silver Spring, Md.: Upwardly Global, April 2017, http://www.upwardlyglobal. org/about-upglo/news.
Based on two primary criteria (occupation licensed in at least 30 states and occupation requires less than a bachelor’s degree), the list of occupations for inclusion was narrowed to 40. Two additional measures were applied to this list (projected employment growth rate for 2014-2024 at national average or higher and total current employment levels of 10,000 or greater), resulting in a total of 34 occupations. Data are reported for each of the 34 occupations for employment levels, projected growth, entry-level education, wages, on-the-job training, industry representation, geographic representation and compact activity.
INSERT LIST OF INCLUDED OCCUPATIONS:
Policymaker Questions to Ask When Considering Occupational Licensing Proposals
|What is the problem?||
|Why should the occupation be regulated?||
What efforts have been made to address the problems?
|Have alternatives to licensure been considered?||
|Will the public benefit from regulating the occupation?||
|Will regulation harm the public?||
How will the regulatory activity be administered?
Who is sponsoring the regulato- ry program?
Why is regulation being sought?
Source: Council on Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation, Questions Legislators Should Ask, 1994
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NCSL would like to acknowledge Kristine Goodwin with Symplexity Research & Consulting for researching and writing this publication.
Suzanne Hultin | 303-856-1531
Program Director | Employment, Labor & Retirement Program