FTC Announces Agenda for Second Economic Liberty Public Roundtable

Focus on evidence regarding the effects of occupational licensing

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For Release

The Federal Trade Commission’s Economic Liberty Task Force has announced the agenda for its second roundtable in Washington, DC on November 7, 2017, to examine empirical evidence on the effects of occupational licensing.

Acting Chairman Maureen K. Ohlhausen will give opening remarks at the November 7 roundtable, “The Effects of Occupational Licensure on Competition, Consumers, and the Workforce: Empirical Research and Results.” The event will bring together experts who have studied and attempted to quantify the effects of occupational licensing regulations on service providers, consumers, and markets.

The Task Force’s first roundtable, held in July, focused on enhancing license portability across state lines.

The November 7 roundtable will focus on the ability of empirical research to clarify costs and benefits, and to better inform policy makers’ discussions of occupational licensing reform.

It is free to the public and begins at 2 p.m. at Constitution Center, 400 7th St., SW, Washington, DC 20024. The FTC invites comments from the public on the topics to be addressed. For further information on the roundtable and the public comment process, including a list of suggested questions open for comment, please view the roundtable website.

Acting Chairman Maureen K. Ohlhausen established the Task Force earlier this year as her first major policy initiative for the agency. Nearly 30 percent of U.S. jobs require a license today, up from less than five percent in the 1950s. Occupational licensing can sometimes be necessary to protect public health and safety, which benefits consumers and serves important state policy interests. But even in those situations, state-specific licensing requirements can impose barriers to entry on qualified workers who have moved from another state, or want to work across state lines. For some occupations, licensing and many of the particular license-related restrictions adopted in some states may not protect public health and safety in sufficient amounts to justify the costs to workers and consumers.

The Federal Trade Commission develops policy initiatives on issues that affect competition, consumers, and the U.S. economy. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, read our blogs, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

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STAFF CONTACT:
Derek Moore
Office of Policy Planning
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