Progress is being made, but there’s still a long way to go in reforming occupational licensing in Oklahoma

We’ve been talking a lot about occupational licensing lately and that’s because it’s a big deal for economic opportunity. Requiring a state license to practice certain occupations began with good intentions –  to protect the public from the harm that… Read more [More...]

Signs of progress on reducing barriers to work in Oklahoma

Last fall, we told you about the work of the Oklahoma Occupational Licensing Task Force, a group of leaders from the Legislature, state agencies, and private businesses that formed in 2016 to study occupational licensing in the state. The task… Read more [More...]

Employment credit checks are putting jobs out of reach for Oklahomans

This post is by OK Policy intern Lydia Lapidus. Lydia is a recent graduate from George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs with a concentration in International Politics. When applying for a job, you might scan your social media… Read more [More...]

Oklahoma slips in new economic rankings

Recent good news about gains the national economy – lower unemployment, small declines in the poverty rate, and a booming stock market – is not reflected here in Oklahoma. The 2018 Prosperity Now Scorecard paints a picture of many Oklahoma… Read more [More...]

The cost of denying paid sick leave

Am I too sick to work? Can I take the day off? For many Oklahomans, the answer to these questions is usually “no.” Private employers are not required to offer paid sick leave to their employees in Oklahoma. In the… Read more [More...]

Occupational licensing is a growing barrier to Oklahomans who seek a decent job

Let’s say you want to change careers. Or maybe you’re a recent graduate thinking about what you’d like to do as you enter the workforce. Like an increasing number of American workers, you might find that stiff requirements to get… Read more [More...]

Minimum wage isn’t what it used to be – it’s worse

The federal minimum wage was established in 1938 at 25¢ an hour (about $4.26 in today’s dollars). Since then it’s been adjusted 29 times to keep up with inflation and rising living standards. The most recent change was in 2009,… Read more [More...]

Health care is increasingly central to Oklahoma’s economy

If you ask a person on the street what Oklahoma’s economy is known for, two industries likely to come to mind are oil and gas drilling and agriculture. Yet when we look at the jobs Oklahomans are working in today,… Read more [More...]

Extended family leave for new parents would boost economy while addressing some of Oklahoma’s worst health rankings

Too many Oklahoma parents face an impossible choice – continue to work full-time and miss precious opportunities to bond with a new child, or leave work and put their finances and career at risk. Oklahomans shouldn’t face this choice.  New… Read more [More...]

Oklahoma has a chance to improve protections for pregnant workers

In 2005, Tashara Persky was working as the lead store clerk at an Oklahoma Dollar General Store. When she informed her supervisor that she was pregnant and that her doctor had told her not to lift more than 15 pounds,… Read more [More...]