University of Minnesota | Driven to Discover
  • Your source for public affairs research.
Two nurses in face masks examine a test strip

COVID-19’s impact on occupational licensing


The coronavirus pandemic has undeniably upended nearly every aspect of day-to-day life and work. Few may be more aware of its wide-ranging effects than Professor Morris Kleiner, whose decades of expertise on economic and labor policy have allowed him a unique vantage point into the situation. As the pandemic has progressed, Prof. Kleiner's research focus has shifted accordingly to examine the impacts of COVID-19 on the labor market—he's even teaching a new course on the subject, incorporating insight from both economists and epidemiologists. Prof. Kleiner has been paying particular attention to changes in occupational licensing when it comes to health care: for instance, "COVID chaser" nurses, who've been criss-crossing the nation to provide extra support to the hardest-hit areas, have encountered new licensing regulations and provisions that often vary by state. In this follow-up to our 2017 Civios interview with Prof. Kleiner, we caught up with him to learn more about his recent work in this area, as well as his research with the Minnesota Population Center examining the effect of occupational licensing on individuals who are ex-offenders.