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New Buckeye Report Finds Occupational Licensing Hits Older and Lower-Income Workers Hardest

Dec 18, 2017

Columbus, OH – Today, The Buckeye Institute’s Economic Research Center released its latest policy report, Still Forbidden to Succeed: The Negative Effects of Occupational Licensing on Ohio’s Workforce. The report found that the burden of Ohio’s occupational licensing requirements has a greater impact on middle-aged and low-income workers, and those without a college degree. In essence, occupational licensing erects barriers to employment to those most in need of good-paying jobs.

“This research offers more evidence of the negative impact of occupational licensing. We have known for years that licensing requirements reduce job creation in Ohio and make it harder for people to get jobs,” said Greg R. Lawson, a research fellow at The Buckeye Institute and one of the authors of the report. “This study shows that licensing requirements also impose a disproportionate burden on job seekers – placing a particularly onerous burden on low-income, minority, and non-college educated Ohioans.”

Using a macroeconomic dynamic scoring model – developed by economists at Buckeye’s Economic Research Center – and data collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the report’s authors discovered that Ohio’s licensing requirements have prevented more than 7,000 people between the ages of 25-45 from pursuing licensed occupations, and has discouraged people from migrating to Ohio to enter the job market. The authors also discovered that high licensing costs keep workers from good-paying professions, and suggests that without such costs more workers would find employment. 

Still Forbidden to Succeed was authored by Dr. Orphe Pierre Divounguy, former economist with The Buckeye Institute’s Economic Research Center; Greg R. Lawson, research fellow at The Buckeye Institute; and Bryce Hill, a former economic research assistant with the Economic Research Center. This new study builds on Buckeye’s previous research on occupational licensing, Forbidden to Succeed: How Licensure Laws Hold Ohioans Back.

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