New report exposes state’s occupational licensing problems
Wednesday, September 13, 2023|Font size:
MIDLAND, Mich. — A new report from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy provides an in-depth look at the occupational licensing laws that impact nearly one million Michigan workers. These state-mandated laws require people to complete education and training programs, pass tests and pay fees in order to work legally in certain jobs. While some licenses may protect public health and consumers, many are simply an unnecessary barrier for people who want to work.
The new report includes the following:
Literature review: Insights from researchers and economists across the ideological spectrum, shedding light on the consequences of occupational licensing.
Michigan's licensing landscape: A comprehensive examination of the state's licensing mandates, including the number of individuals subject to licensure and the economic implications.
Legislative history: An account of recent changes to licensing requirements made by the state Legislature, along with the key proponents behind these changes.
Occupational database: A comprehensive database outlining the specific requirements for each occupation in Michigan.
Reform recommendations: Suggestions for reform, including establishing regular reviews of state requirements and a streamlined processes for out-of-state licensed professionals to work in Michigan.
Michigan requires workers in approximately 180 different occupations to have a state license, creating a barrier to entry for many aspiring professionals. These licensing requirements artificially reduce the supply of workers, curtail competition and subsequently drive up costs for consumers. Licensing laws also directly benefit those already established in the industry by limiting their potential competition.
“By reducing barriers to entry, more individuals can participate in the job market, fostering a vibrant and competitive economy and enhanced consumer choice,” said Jarrett Skorup, vice president for marketing and communications at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy and the author of the study. “Fairer occupational regulations means more competition, lower costs and even lower crime rates.”
The Mackinac Center for Public Policy is a nonprofit research and educational institute that advances the principles of free markets and limited government. Through our research and education programs, we challenge government overreach and advocate for a free-market approach to public policy that frees people to realize their potential and dreams.
Please consider contributing to our work to advance a freer and more prosperous state.