California Leads Nation in Occupational Licensing Lunacy

In Analysis by Michael Rae

California deploys the nation’s highest income and sales taxes, but taxpayers may be unaware that the Golden State also leads the nation in occupational licensing. As Matthew D. Mitchell of the Mercatus Center notes, in a report submitted to the Federal Trade Commission, such licensing “represents a significant and growing barrier to work.” 
Over the past 50 years, the share of the workforce that is required to have an occupational license has increased more than fourfold. In California as of 2015, more than one in five working Californians—20.7 percent of the state’s workforce—was required to be licensed. That costs an estimated

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