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occupational licensing

New Paper Calls for Eliminating Licensing Laws to Encourage Work

Naples, FL – A new paper, released today by the Foundation for Government Accountability, reveals the disproportionate harm excessive occupational licenses have on Americans joining the workforce, particularly low-income individuals, military members and their families, and young workers. The paper, How Occupational Licensing Inhibits Economic Opportunity, calls for the reformation of occupational licensing as the first step in job creation, increasing economic opportunity, and reducing government dependency.

The paper, authored by FGA Senior Research Fellow Jared Meyer as part of the organization’s Freedom to Work reform, reiterates the importance of work as the key to reducing government dependency and creating opportunity for Americans—regardless of socioeconomic status.

The paper outlines reforms aimed at eliminating barriers to work and encouraging a vital workforce, including waiving initial licensing fees for low-income individuals, military families, and young workers. Other reforms include reviewing licensing prohibitions for individuals with criminal records and preventing local governments from creating new occupational licenses.

“Occupational licensing is the largest issue facing the workforce in America today. Work is the key to breaking free from government dependency, yet by creating barriers to work in the form of licensing laws, the government prevents individuals from climbing the economic ladder,” said Meyer. “Rather than maintaining barriers that stall job creation and limit economic opportunity, it is time for policymakers to reduce the red tape that surrounds work, and revise the laws that make it more difficult for Americans to earn a living.”

The full paper can be viewed here.

The Foundation for Government Accountability is a non–profit, multi–state think tank that specializes in health care, welfare, and regulatory reform. To learn more, visit


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