Occupational Licensing

Study Schedule


Thursday, June 23, 2016
1:00 p.m., BMG Conference Room, 925 L Street, Lower Level, Sacramento, CA 95814


Wednesday, March 30, 2016
9:30 a.m., Mike Balkman City Council Chambers, City Hall, 9770 Culver Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

Public Hearing

Thursday, February 4, 2016
9:30 a.m., State Capitol, Room 437

(Public notice was revised on Wednesday, February 3, 2016, following an update to the witness list.)

Public Hearing


Description of Study

The Little Hoover Commission is beginning a review of occupational licensing in California. 

The number of individuals who must meet government-established criteria to practice a given occupation has grown rapidly in the last half century.  In the 1950s, fewer than five percent of workers nationwide were required to hold licenses to practice their professions; by 2008, that number had increased to 29 percent of workers nationwide, according to economists Morris Kleiner and Alan Kreuger.  Approximately 21 percent of California’s 19 million member workforce is licensed.  Proponents of occupational licensing advocate that these regulations are necessary to protect the health and safety of consumers.  Critics contend that these regulations at times go beyond consumer protection and unjustifiably restrict competition. 

The focus of the Commission’s review is on the impact of occupational licensing on upward mobility and opportunities for entrepreneurship and innovation for Californians, particularly those of modest means.  The Commission also will examine the result of occupational licensing on the cost and availability of services provided by licensed practitioners to consumers.  The Commission also will assess the connection between occupational licensing regulations and the underground economy.  The Commission will explore the balance between protecting consumers and enabling Californians to enter the occupation of their choice. 

If you would like more information regarding this study, please contact project manager Krystal Beckham at krystal.beckham@lhc.ca.gov or at 916-445-2125. To be notified electronically of meetings, events, or even when the report is complete, please send a request to littlehoover@lhc.ca.gov

Previous Studies