Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta says state lawmakers should work to eliminate unnecessary state licenses.
Speaking Friday to state lawmakers gathered in Denver for the annual American Legislative Exchange Council’s conference, Acosta called for repealing licensing laws that exist solely to block competition or create a privileged class within the workforce. While only one job out of 20 required a government-issued permission slip in the 1950s, today about a quarter of all jobs in America are subject to licensing. Acosta said that’s “part of a nationwide trend where we regulate, and regulate, and regulate” at the expense of individual workers and the economy as a whole.
Here’s how Acosta broke it down:
Excess licensing hinders the American workforce.
First, the cost and complexity of licensing creates an economic barrier for Americans seeking a job, especially for those with fewer financial resources.
Second, excessive licensing creates a barrier for Americans that move from state to state.
Third, excessive licensing creates a barrier for Americans looking to leverage technology and to expand their job opportunities.