Latest Posts





Good news for young people: Paid internships are becoming the norm

For years, many young college-aged Americans have viewed getting an internship almost as a rite of passage. Traditionally, internships have offered many advantages—helping to develop marketable skills, sprucing up a resume, and frequently earning college credit. Unfortunately, these internships often haven’t paid a dime.

Today that’s changing, thanks to America’s robust employment rate. Increasingly, paid internships are becoming the norm.

Young people who want to build career skills while still in post-secondary school—but can’t afford to work for nothing—should find this encouraging. And the new popularity of paid internships should encourage employers in technical fields and the trades to consider how they can use them to attract young talent.

The Wall Street Journal provides the details in a piece that explores how today’s tight U.S. labor market is squeezing out the unpaid internship:

With unemployment at historic lows, more companies are paying for work they used to get free in order to ensure a pipeline of young talent for entry-level positions….

A survey of 2017 college graduates conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers showed that nearly 60% of respondents had an internship during their time in school, compared with almost 50% in 2007.

In 2012, about half of all internships were unpaid. Since that peak, unpaid internships have declined steadily, hitting 43% in 2017, according to NACE.

The Journal points out that unpaid internships have been widely criticized

for taking advantage of free labor and catering to students who can afford spending a summer or semester working without pay because their parents foot the bill. Students can get college credit for internships, but unless they are on a scholarship they still pay the school for that credit.

In today’s newly energized labor market, what should employers expect to pay interns? The Journal reports that

the average hourly internship wage rose 3.7% in 2018 to $18.73, according to [the National Association of Colleges and Employers]. In 2014, the average hourly wage for an intern was about $16.




Upcoming Events

  • Morning in Minnesota: St. Cloud

    Location: St. Cloud

    Sign up HERE! Courtyard by Marriott St. Cloud 404 West Saint Germain Street St. Cloud, MN, 56301 Please join Center of the American Experiment on Tuesday, July 21 for breakfast with Center policy fellow and education expert Catrin Wigfall as she explains K-12 education in the state and its persistent disparities despite decades of increased spending. Following her presentation, Catrin will lead a Q&A session. 7:30 AM Check In and Breakfast 8:00 AM Presentation 9:00 AM Conclude   Catrin Wigfall is a Policy Fellow at Center of the American Experiment. She is also the director of EducatedTeachersMN and EmployeeFreedomMN. Catrin’s…

    Register Now
  • Morning in Minnesota: Marshall

    Location: Marshall Golf Club

      Sign up for this event HERE! Please join Center of the American Experiment on Thursday, July 16 at Marshall Golf Club for a breakfast with Center economist, John Phelan, as he discusses Minnesota’s economic future. Following his presentation, John will lead a Q&A session. 7:30 AM Check In and Breakfast 8:00 AM Presentation 9:00 AM Conclude John Phelan is a graduate of Birkbeck College, University of London, where he earned a BSc in Economics, and of the London School of Economics where he earned an MSc. He worked in finance for ten years before becoming a professional economist. He…

    Register Now
  • 2020 Annual Dinner Featuring Sarah Huckabee Sanders- Now in September!

    Location: Minneapolis Convention Center Ballroom 1301 2nd Ave S Minneapolis, MN 55403

    NEW SEPTEMBER DATE: We have made the difficult decision to once again move the date of this event. We will now host our Annual Dinner on Saturday, September 19th. All tickets bought for the April 4th, or June 18th dates are transferrable. We are so sorry for any inconvenience this has caused, but we look forward to seeing you on September 19! Direct any questions to Kathryn Hinderaker (kathryn.hinderaker@americanexperiment.org or 612-428-7005).   American President: The Unorthodox Approach to Politics that Changed the World. Sarah Huckabee Sanders served as White House Press Secretary for President Donald J. Trump from 2017 to…

    Register Now