Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Give Job Seekers a Break: Get Government Out of the Licensing Business

Trey Kovacs

Public policy easing union organizing is not an economic cure-all, and really wouldn’t help at all—no matter how many times union-backed politicians say so (see my post from yesterday). But there are steps that government can take to liberalize labor markets that would spur economic growth, one reform that even President Obama is on board with: ease occupational licensing requirements.

Just recently, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released new data on occupational licensing. To no one’s surprise, job holders with a certificate or license earned more. This reason is most likely two-fold and does not take away from detractors’ arguments that rigorous licensing requirements should be loosened as to make labor markets more dynamic.   According to BLS data, in 2015, of people 25 and older with a license or certificate, nearly 40 percent also had a college degree. So, one reason why workers with a license earn more is because they are in high paying professions that require high levels of education like “health care practitioners and technical occupations” (72.2 held a license) or “legal occupations” (63.6 held a license).....To Read More

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