BUSINESS + ECONOMY

What America could learn from Utah’s deregulating workforce

Feb 7, 2023, 9:30 PM | Updated: Feb 8, 2023, 1:12 pm

Utah's deregulating the workforce is something the rest of the nation could learn from. It's a topi...

Utah's deregulating the workforce is something the rest of the nation could learn from. It's a topic discussed Tuesday on Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

(AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

SALT LAKE CITY — A tight labor market continues to hurt the rest of the nation. Utah, on the other hand, is deregulating its workforce by making some key changes to help build its economy and fill job openings. It’s something the rest of America could learn from. 

This is accomplished by loosening the guidelines for occupational licensing.

Margaret Bussey, executive director of the Utah Department of Commerce, joined Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson on Tuesday to discuss this matter.

Matheson asked, “What is it that other states ought to be learning from how Utah is making all of this happen when it comes to overregulation?”

Bussey gives credit to Gov. Spencer Cox and the legislature for the work they have done in trying to loosen licensing requirements.

Specifically, she says Cox and the legislature made it so individuals who were either incarnated or living in another state could get licenses. 

Deregulating the workforce with systematic check-ins

Bussey says the Department of Commerce, with the help of the legislature, is now setting up a new office called the Office of Professional Licensure Review.

“With this idea that we need to sort of do a systematic check-in with all of our licensing requirements,” she said. “To see if the requirements that we have in place now. Which are really the regulations around those professions still make sense.”

Matheson said, “And I think it’s so important to note that this is just not ban all regulations. There are reasons for regulations that protect the public and the citizens.”

“And so, one of the things I often say about regulation,” Bussey said. “Is that it needs to be reasonable and reliable, but it also needs to be relevant.”

She adds that when regulations exist that are out of date, it causes economic waste and limits opportunities.

Changes with technology

They talk about in-person consultations between a doctor and a patient. Along with this, they discuss how that all changed with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With technology developments such as Google Meet and Zoom, those regulations have been updated, Bussey explains.

Furthermore, Bussey says the switch to online consultations between a doctor and a patient is a great example. She says the state needs to be looking at how technology has changed a profession. 

“It’s almost like a health check-up with each of these kinds of regulations,” she said. “Do these things still make sense for where we are right now in our society?”

Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson can be heard weekdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app. 

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What America could learn from Utah’s deregulating workforce