Occupational Licensing: Examining Challenges for Four Subpopulations

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Over the last 60 years, the number of jobs requiring an occupational license has grown from about 1-in-20 to nearly 1-in-4. When implemented properly, occupational licensing can help protect the health and safety of consumers by requiring practitioners to undergo a designated amount of training and education in their field.

Differences and disparities in occupational licensing laws across states, however, can create barriers for those looking to enter the labor market and make it harder for workers to relocate across state lines. Certain populations, including military veterans and spouses, immigrants with work authorization, people with criminal records and long term unemployed and dislocated workers, are affected disproportionately by the requirements and variances of occupational licensing.

This webinar will address some of the unique challenges each of these populations face when it comes to entering the workforce in a licensed occupation, and how states are helping to remove some of these barriers.

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  • Suzanne Hultin, Employment, Labor and Retirement Program, NCSL


  • Jennifer Shultz, Task Force on Military and Veterans Affairs, NCSL
  • Ann Morse, Immigrant Policy Project, NCSL
  • Rebecca Pirius, Criminal Justice Program, NCSL
  • Joellen Kralik, Education Program, NCSL

Additional Resources