FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 28, 2020

CONTACT: Logan Elizabeth Padgett
Lpadgett@jamesmadison.org
850-386-3131

JMI Releases New Report Examining Occupational Licensing Regulations

Access to gainful employment is essential to the economic success of Floridians and their families. For 25 percent of workers in over 300 professions and occupations, the state of Florida requires a government permission slip to work. Florida has the toughest licensing requirements for those seeking work in the Southeast and is the 5th most burdensome state in the nation for lower- and middle-income occupations. A new policy study by Vittorio Nastasi establishes that states with more burdensome requirements have less economic opportunity — especially for lower-income communities.

The report, “Caught in Red Tape: How Occupational Licensing Hurts Florida’s Most Vulnerable” (published by JMI in partnership with the Reason Foundation) finds that occupational licensing costs Florida more than 129,000 jobs annually. Supporters of occupational licensing argue that government regulations on employment improve consumer safety and welfare by establishing minimum skill requirements for workers. However, little evidence suggests that consumers are safer in states with more licensing.

“Florida gets so many things right when it comes to our economy and opportunity. This is one of the few outlier areas. Florida’s onerous occupational licensing scheme continues to trap tens of thousands of people in generational poverty, and it has no place in a growth state like ours. I am pleased that our policymakers and administration continue to push to remove barriers to employment and hope that this timely study helps provide context for their efforts in 2020.” –Sal Nuzzo, Vice President of Policy, The James Madison Institute

“Ample research shows that occupational licensing laws make it harder for people to find work without improving the quality of regulated services. Florida’s excessive licensing requirements stifle growth and impose considerable costs on low-income workers and former criminal offenders. Eliminating unnecessary licenses could go a long way toward helping the most vulnerable Floridians get back on their feet and achieve economic mobility.” – Vittorio Nastasi, Policy Analyst, Reason Foundation

To read “Caught in Red Tape: How Occupational Licensing Hurts Florida’s Most Vulnerable” click here.

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Florida’s premier policy research think tank, The James Madison Institute is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to the advancement of free markets and liberty. The Institute conducts research on such issues as criminal justice, health care, taxes, and regulatory environments.