Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty: Where does your state rank in red tape, barriers to economic opportunity?

For more information, contact:
Cameron Sholty | WILL Communications Director

Where Does Your State Rank in Red Tape, Barriers to Economic Opportunity?

November 10, 2017 – Milwaukee, WI – WILL’s recent report, Land of the Free? 50 state study on how professional licensing laws lead to fewer jobs, examines the relationship between employment and license requirements in ten professions. Last week, WILL President Rick Esenberg and Research Fellow Collin Roth submitted testimony to the Federal Trade Commission’s Task Force on Economic Liberty. WILL commends the Trump Administration, like the Obama Administration, for wanting to study the effects of licensing on economic opportunity. The testimony highlighted the findings of the study, which 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).
  • 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.
  • Wisconsin is the 5th most burdensome state for the ten professions. Most burdensome in the Midwest.
  • Wisconsin can increase employment in these professions by 7.06% if regulations match the least burdensome state, and 2.42% if regulations match the national average.
  • Since 1996, the number of license-holders in Wisconsin has increased by 34% and the number of license-types has increased by 84% The Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services currently regulates more than 240 different credentials and licenses.
WILL’s submission to the FTC culminated in two weeks of attention from national outlets and organizations concerned about the growth and breadth of occupational licensing in the United States.
Additionally, WILL’s most recent national report on occupational licensing has earned attention from national outlets and organizations concerned about the growth and breadth of occupational licensing in the United States.
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