(White House Press Release, December 14, 2020)
On Monday, December 14, 2020, President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order designed to alleviate regulatory burdens on Americans that make it more difficult for them to continue in their chosen occupations when relocating.
The executive order says, in part, “As expressed in Executive Order 13777 of February 24, 2017 (Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda), it is the policy of the United States to alleviate unnecessary regulatory burdens placed on the American people. Overly burdensome occupational licensing requirements can impede job creation and slow economic growth, which undermines our Nation’s prosperity and the economic well‑being of the American people. Such regulations can prevent American workers and job seekers from earning a living, maximizing their personal and economic potential, and achieving the American Dream. The purpose of this order is to reduce the burden of occupational regulations in order to promote the free practice of commerce, lower consumer costs, and increase economic and geographic mobility, including for military spouses.
My Administration is committed to continuing this important work by partnering with State, local, territorial, and tribal leaders throughout the country to eliminate harmful occupational regulations, which are frequently designed to protect politically connected interest groups. To this end, in October 2019, my Administration announced the establishment of the Governors’ Initiative on Regulatory Innovation, which works with State, local, and tribal leaders to advance occupational licensing reforms, better align State and Federal regulations, and eliminate unnecessary regulations that drive up consumer costs.
Occupational regulations can protect practitioners from competition rather than protect the public from malpractice. Unfortunately, the number of occupational regulations has substantially increased over the last few decades. Since the 1950s, the percentage of jobs requiring a government-mandated occupational license has increased from less than 5 percent to between 25 and 30 percent. By requiring workers to acquire new licenses when they move to a new jurisdiction, occupational regulations reduce worker mobility, disproportionately harm low‑income Americans, and are particularly burdensome to military spouses who must relocate to support the service members committed to keeping our country safe. Additionally, blanket prohibitions that prevent individuals with criminal records from obtaining occupational licenses may exacerbate disparities in employment opportunity and increase the likelihood of recidivism, particularly as regulatory barriers to enter lower- and middle-income occupations are associated with higher recidivism rates. Licensing requirements unnecessary to protect consumers from significant and demonstrable harm also frequently impose expensive educational requirements on potential job seekers, even for occupations with limited future earnings potential. According to recent research, licensing requirements have cost our country an estimated 2.85 million jobs and over $200 billion annually in increased consumer costs.”
To read the full text of the executive order, visit: