Nearly Two in Five Workers Can’t Do Their Jobs Without Government Approval

According to a report by The Washington Post, nearly 38 percent of workers require some form of license or certification to do their job. This number represents a staggering growth of licensing when compared to the 5 percent of workers who needed a license in the 1950’s and even the 18 percent of workers in the 1980’s. Licensing benefits those already in the profession, which is why they often lobby for it.

“[The growth] tends to come from the occupations themselves,” he said. “They organize, they pay somebody to be the head of an organization, they lobby the legislature.”

A version of this blog originally appeared on, a project of the Charles Koch Institute. The Institute republished it here on September 17, 2015.

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