STUDY: New Jersey is America’s 16th most burdensome occupational licensing state

Protesters at June's hair braiding rally in Trenton.

New Jersey has earned another dubious distinction according to the Institute for Justice. 

new study released Wednesday by that organization ranks New Jersey as the 16th worst occupational licensing law state in America.

“A job and livelihood should not depend on a permission slip from the government,” said AFP-NJ State Director Erica Jedynak in a statement reacting to the report. “New Jersey’s economy is suffering enough and taxpayers are already besieged by high taxes and yet the government insists on these artificially high barriers for New Jersey citizens to succeed. Instead of erecting more barriers to opportunity, lawmakers should begin the process of tearing down these unnecessary requirements and make it easier for thousands of Garden State residents to pursue their dreams.”

This June, Jedynak’s AFP-NJ rallied with the Institute for Justice in Trenton in favor of A-4421/S-3136, legislation designed to roll back mandates on hair braiding. Currently, aspiring New Jersey hair braiders face a 1,200 hour cosmetology school requirement. 

54 occupation require government licensure in New Jersey; overall, the average worker in these fields pays $224 in fees and faces the loss of 422 days for burdensome educational requirements. The Institute for Justice previously estimated that New Jersey could add 34,000 jobs by removing the most burdensome occupational regulations.


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