HeadLocke Episode 022: Occupational Licensing and Barriers to Work

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HeadLocke Episode 022: Occupational Licensing and Barriers to Work

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Article I, Section 1 of the N.C. Constitution declares that citizens are entitled to “the enjoyment of the fruits of their own labor.” But government and special-interest groups impede entry into certain professions by imposing restrictions on who can work in them. These restrictions are carried out through a process called occupational licensing. Licensing boards mandate that workers fulfill educational requirements and pay fees for the privilege of working in the occupations that they oversee. This system, however, harms low-income and entry-level workers disproportionately. Terry and summer intern Carter Woolly discuss problems with the occupational licensing system in North Carolina and what can be done to minimize barriers to work.

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We are North Carolina’s Most Trusted and Influential Source of Common Sense. The John Locke Foundation was created in 1990 as an independent, nonprofit think tank that would work “for truth, for freedom, and for the future of North Carolina.” The Foundation is named for John Locke (1632-1704), an English philosopher whose writings inspired Thomas Jefferson and the other Founders.

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