Joe Biden
U.S. President Joe Biden's new executive order will target job licensing requirements and non-compete agreements that bring more difficulties for laborers. GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Kevin Dietsch


  • Biden is working on an executive order that should help employees switch jobs when they get a more suitable offer
  • The executive order is also expected to reduce occupational licensing requirements
  • The order would aim to prevent employers sharing data on worker pay

U.S. President Joe Biden is preparing an executive order that should help ease the restrictions that many employers have placed on workers who want to switch jobs when they get a better offer.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a media briefing that Biden “believes that if someone offers you a better job, you should be able to take it,” The Hill reported.

More than 30 million U.S. workers are under non-compete agreements, Psaki said. which had prompted discussion about the impact of these agreements on employees in search of better offers.

The executive order would target non-compete agreements that employers have their workers sign to prevent them from moving to rival companies under the same or similar industries.

Aside from targeting non-compete agreements, Biden’s executive order is expected to also address occupational licensing restrictions.

Psaki said that in some cases, occupational licensing can “lock people out of jobs” if licensing requirements become “overly burdensome,” CNBC reported.

Due to different licensing requirements across various states, some job-seekers, particularly those in the construction sector and other blue collar segments, have had trouble finding jobs.

The new executive order, which is expected to be signed in the next few days, is part of Biden’s efforts to encourage competition in the country.

The goal is to limit the control of large companies in terms of both employees and rival corporations.

Finally, the executive order guide the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to prevent emplyers from sharing data on benefits and pay data in order to keep employee pay down, PBS reported.

These moves by the Biden administration are similar to, and an extension, of the work done by former President Barack Obama in 2015. At that time, the White House released a report that warned of the difficulties that licensing requirements in different states bring to job-seekers.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the report suggested that licensing requirements put workers in a difficult position when their circumstances drive them to relocate in a different state.

The White House report echoed sentiments by economists who raised concerns over licensing demands that could further dampen morale in the labor market.

Non-compete agreements impact workers in several industries including technology, fast food, construction and hospitality.

US President Joe Biden hailed the June 2021 job gains as 'historic' and credited his administration's policies with helping the economy recover from the pandemic downturn
US President Joe Biden hailed the June 2021 job gains as 'historic' and credited his administration's policies with helping the economy recover from the pandemic downturn AFP / MANDEL NGAN