This article was originally published in the Washington Times.

In the United States, employers are still having a hard time finding the workers they need. This problem appears to be worst in the South. Recent analysis suggests that there are 2 million open jobs in the South and insufficient workers to fill them.

There are many factors contributing to this challenge. Excessive occupational licensing requirements certainly are not helping.

In recent work that we published via the Archbridge Institute, we provide a state-by-state analysis and ranking of how licensing stacks up across the U.S. We analyzed occupational licensing requirements for 331 occupations across the country — professions ranging from doctors and dentists to mixed martial artists, pawnbrokers and body piercing artists.

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