JEC Republicans: Occupational Licensing
Stands in the Way of Recovery
WASHINGTON—The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted new and longstanding labor market frictions that are keeping Americans from returning to work. Occupational licensing regimes are particularly harmful and keep American workers on the sidelines.
In new research released today, Joint Economic Committee Republicans detail how occupational licensing stands in the way of recovery by keeping people from entering new professions and by increasing the cost of moving to places with healthier job markets.
We urge states to reevaluate whether so many lines of work should require a license. We also urge Congress to increase worker flexibility with the licensing reforms in the Tougher Enforcement Against Monopolies (TEAM) Act introduced by Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and the Alternatives to Licensing that Lower Obstacles to Work (ALLOW) Act introduced by Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Ben Sasse (R-NE).
While some licensing requirements can protect consumers, they often have the opposite effect in practice. Most requirements are overly burdensome, and act primarily as state-enforced cartels that protect government-privileged industries from competition. Americans deserve a chance to work without acquiring government permission.
The Joint Economic Committee is Congress’s bicameral economic research center and home of the Social Capital Project, led by Ranking Member Mike Lee.