Florida Workers Need Universal Licensing Recognition

September 29, 2023

Occupational Licensing: A Barrier to Employment in Florida and Elsewhere

Every state requires people who want to work certain jobs to receive a government license to do so. Commonly licensed professions include electricians, nurses, cosmetologists, and many more. States differ on which occupations they license and the requirements to earn a license.

Florida requires nearly one in five workers to obtain a license to do their job, and the state has the fifth most burdensome occupational licensing laws in the country, according to the Institute for Justice’s 2022 rankings. It takes Floridians an average of 658 days (compared to a national average of 350 days) to satisfy often excessive education and experience requirements to obtain a license.

Florida Needs Universal Licensing Recognition

Universal licensing recognition allows workers to have the occupational license they earned in one state recognized by another state without having to complete duplicative training, exams, or education. This makes it easier to move to another state or work in multiple states simultaneously.

Requiring new residents who already have a license from another state to restart the process costs them time and money while exacerbating workforce shortages—the latest data shows that Florida has just 57 available workers for every 100 open jobs. This is why 22 other states, including Florida’s neighbor Georgia, have already implemented universal licensing recognition.  

Benefits of Universal Licensing Recognition

  1. Increased Migration: States that have passed universal recognition have experienced a nearly 50% increase in interstate migration among those with low portability licenses.
  2. Greater Economic Growth and Productivity: By allowing new residents to start working more quickly, states make it easier for businesses to expand, encourage entrepreneurship, and grow their economies. Reducing red tape also improves labor productivity.
  3. Stronger Workforce: Occupational licensing costs the U.S. economy nearly two million jobs annually. When states enact universal licensing recognition, they experience increased labor market participation and a decline in unemployment.
  4. Lower Prices: Excessive licensing rules cost consumers more than $200 billion annually in the form of higher prices. Universal licensing recognition helps alleviate this burden.
  5. The Same High-Quality Workers: Many studies have found that universal licensing recognition does not cause any difference in worker quality or customer satisfaction.

Florida has implemented other licensing reforms, including removing some exam and training requirements, expanding recognition for some jobs, and eliminating some licenses altogether.

IT’s time for florida to RECOGNIZE ALL LICENSES.

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