License This, License That

By September 5, 2007Miscellaneous

The Reason Foundation has released an analysis of state licensing of professions, or more accurately put, jobs. California leads the nation with 171 different jobs that require a license or credential, followed by Connecticut (155), Maine (134) and New Hampshire. (What is it about the New England states?) The least restrictive is Missouri, with 41 career licenses. From the Foundation’s news release:

“Most of these licensing requirements are completely arbitrary,” said Adam B. Summers, a policy analyst at Reason Foundation and author of the report. “You see that clearly when examining neighboring states. California has 177 job categories licensed. But if you take one step across the state line into Arizona just 72 careers are licensed. In North Carolina you need a license to do 107 jobs. Next door in South Carolina, only 60 jobs require certification.”

Proponents claim these licensing requirements are needed to protect the public from unscrupulous, incompetent, or dangerous practitioners. However, numerous studies show these laws actually reduce consumer protection and public safety, according to the Reason Foundation report.

“These laws are created under the guise of ‘helping’ consumers,” Summers said. “In reality, the laws are helping existing businesses keep out competition, restricting consumer choice, destroying entrepreneurship, and driving up prices.”

For the full report in .pdf format, click here.

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