As President Reagan famously noted, “The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” The expanding reach of occupational licensing regulations exemplify this maxim.
People in a growing number of occupations now require the permission of the government to work in their chosen profession. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) illustrate that 60 years ago about 1-in-20 jobs required an occupational license; today more than 1-in-4 do.
There are many reasons to reduce the number of occupations that require state licensing. When these regulations are deemed necessary, however, reforms should reduce the adverse impact these regulations have on an efficient and competitive market. Enabling reciprocity across the states is an effective reform that can help reduce these costs. Managing Editor, Wayne Winegarden’s, full editorial in Forbes discussing this issue can be found here.