Licensing reform would bring relief to a virus-stricken economy

Licensing reform would bring relief to a virus-stricken economy


When President-elect Joe Biden takes office in January, he’ll be facing an economy in need of help. As lawmakers consider the merits of another coronavirus relief package, they should not only consider the immediate need for income support but also preparations for the long-term recovery.

It took until 2017 for the unemployment rate to hit its 2007 pre-Great Recession low, even though unemployment peaked in 2009. We need to avoid such a slow recovery this time and end the economic suffering as soon as possible. One way to help accelerate people returning to work would be helping states reform regulations that reduce employment.

Occupational licensing is a regulatory regime in which would-be members of certain professions are required to obtain a government license before they can perform a particular job or service. Which jobs are licensed varies on a state-by-state (and even municipal) basis, but it’s not just doctors and lawyers that need them. The share of

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