Occupational licenses, or government issued permission slips to work, are mandated in an ever-growing number of professions. In the 1950s, licenses were required for less than 5 percent of workers. Today, a much greater percentage of American workers need a government license to perform their jobs legally. In New Hampshire, 14.7 percent of the workforce is licensed.
Once a rarely talked about issue, occupational licensing is becoming a mainstream target of reform. And while significant steps have yet to come, a diverse coalition is growing around the clear understanding that many occupational licensing requirements are unnecessary barriers to opportunity. According to a report from the Institute for Justice on low- and moderate-income occupational licenses, the average license in New Hampshire requires 230 days of training, $209 in fees, and two exams. For so many, particularly those looking to start or switch their careers, these costs prevent entry and stifle opportunity. This disproportionately harms low-income individuals who have less time and money to pursue licenses.
On Tuesday, March 21, 2017, join the Charles Koch Institute and a panel of distinguished, bipartisan experts to discuss occupational licensing reform in New Hampshire. Doors will open at 6:00 p.m. for a 6:30 p.m. panel discussion. Heavy hors d’oeuvres and drinks will be served.
Will Ruger, vice president, research and policy, Charles Koch Institute
Ryan Nunn, policy director, The Hamilton Project; formerly an economist in the U.S. Treasury Department
Jason Sorens, program director, Political Economy Project, Dartmouth College
Ed Timmons, director, Center for the Study of Occupational Regulation, Saint Francis University
Dana Wade, senior research fellow, Charles Koch Institute; former U.S. Senate banking staffer
Grant Bosse, editorial page editor, New Hampshire Union Leader