WILL Press Release | WILL Releases 50 State Study on Occupational Licensing
The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty issued a report, Land of the Free? 50 state study on how professional licensing laws lead to fewer jobs, to measure and score the burdens of occupational licensing regulations in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia.
Using a statistical model for ten regulated professions, this study measures the impact of the patchwork of licensing regulations and rules across all 50 states to determine their impact on employment. Each state was ranked with a score according to our Red Tape Index, which measures just how burdensome a state’s regulations are for these occupations. The findings include:
- States with more burdensome licensure requirements (fees, training hours, exams, and age requirements) had significantly lower employment in the ten professional occupations.
- We estimate that employment in the U.S. for those ten professions would increase by 4.5% if licensing regulations were reduced to the level of the least burdensome state (Hawaii).
- Our models show that 23 states could see employment growth of 5% or above for these ten professions if they lowered their licensing laws to those of the least burdensome state – Hawaii.
- Tennessee, Alabama, Nevada, Florida, and Wisconsin are ranked as the most burdensome states for the professions under study.
- Hawaii, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Utah are ranked as the least burdensome states for the professions under study.