Occupational Freedom

Jun 16, 2017

Occupational licensing is taking a hit. Earlier this month, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu signed legislation to legalize natural or African-style hair braiding. Anyone in New Hampshire can now braid hair without government permission. In Tennessee, a government license is no longer needed to do something as mundane as shampooing hair. Occupational licensing has increased fourfold from the 1950s. 25% of American workers need a license to work. Licensing raises prices and restricts economic opportunity. Once study estimated that licensing costs consumers $203 billion a year. The governors of Arizona and Idaho recently issued executive orders to review the state’s occupational licensing and identify areas for reform. Eliminating occupational licensing will give more opportunity to people who want to work, but face costly educational restrictions associated with licensing.