ON-Lion Letter
According to a May report from the Institute for Justice (IJ) in Arlington, Va., more and more Americans now need the government's permission before they can pursue the occupation of their choice.  License to Work:  A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing shows that for lower-income Americans, these government-imposed "occupational-licensing" hurdles are not only widespread, but often unreasonably high.

License to Work details licensing requirements for 102 low- and moderate-income occupations in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.  It is the first national study of licensing to focus on lower-income occupations and to measure the burdens licensing imposes on aspiring workers.

For full state and occupational rankings, and to easily compare licensing requirements across states and occupations, visit the interactive version of License to Work online.  A video on the report is also viewable online.
All of the 102 occupations studied in License to Work are licensed in at least one state.  On average, these government-mandated licenses force aspiring workers to spend nine months in education or training, pass one exam, and pay more than $200 in fees.  One-third of the licenses take more than one year to earn.  At least one exam is required for 79 of the occupations.

"These licensing laws force people to spend a lot of time and effort earning a license instead of earning a living," said Dick Carpenter, IJ's director of strategic research and a co-author of the report.  "They make it harder for people to find jobs and to build new businesses that create jobs."

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee substantially supports IJ.
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