Unpaid and exploited? Examining interns in the U.S. labor market

Date: May 18, 2011

Intern Nation, Wednesday, May 18 from Economic Policy Institute on Vimeo.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011, 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Internships have become a principal point of entry for young people seeking white-collar careers, and it is estimated that half of all college students will do an internship before graduating.  Between 1 and 2 million people overall will work as interns this year in the United States, saving firms $600 million dollars. The proliferation of the unpaid and low- paid intern workforce in cities like Washington has become so much the norm that rarely are the fairness, costs and benefits, or legality of this growing class of labor examined.

In a recently published book, Intern Nation, Ross Perlin examines these issues in the most thorough analysis of the internship industry to date, exploring whether working for free violates labor laws, the extent to which internships exacerbate existing socio-economic inequalities and under what conditions do internships provide a useful path connecting people to the labor force.

Join us for a presentation by Perlin, followed by a discussion that will include Michael Hancock, Assistant Administrator for Policy of the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor.  EPI Vice President Ross Eisenbrey will moderate the forum. Copies of Intern Nation will be available for purchase.