Is Michigan's complicated licensing process costing people jobs?

Roughly 160 jobs in Michigan require state license

By Rod Meloni - Reporter, CFP ® , Derick Hutchinson

DETROIT - Michigan regulations are under fire as some say the state's complicated and expensive licensing process is killing jobs.

There are roughly 160 jobs in Michigan that require a state license to do. A new study said state licensing rules are too tough. The Mackinac Center said Michigan's licensing regulations are arbitrary and, worse than that, squashing job creation.

According to the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, neighborhood barbers need more hours to get a license than an airplane pilot needs to lift off a runway.

At the Detroit Barbershop in Ferndale, 40-year hair-cutting veteran Rich Cantin said he's quite comfortable with the state's licensing rules.

"I don't think it's too much," Cantin said. "I think the 2,000 hours is perfect."

Jarret Skorup, of the Mackinac Center, disagrees.

"There is simply no evidence the licensing protects health and safety," Skorup said. "(There are) 40 occupations where we require licensing, and most (states) do not."

The study calls Michigan's laws inconsistent. It said a license is needed in Michigan to do carpentry, lay wood flooring demolish houses and excavate. It said a license isn't needed to hang drywall, put down asphalt, lay carpeting or move a house.

The Mackinac Center said the regulations have led to more than 125,000 jobs not being created and higher prices -- upwards of $2,700 per year -- for taxpayers.

"When you're working on someone, different individuals, and working on people's hair, you should be required," Cantin said. "I'm sure you don't want someone coming in off the streets and picking up a pair of shears and clippers or a straight razor and doing that without a license."

The state license authority said it started cutting unnecessary regulation in 2011. Since then, it's taken auctioneer, community planner, dietitian, immigration clerical assistant, interior designer, ocularist and proprietary school solicitors off the list of jobs that need licenses. It said it's looking at cutting more license rules.

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