These days, many young people find that the competition for entry level jobs is very fierce—so much so that to get a job, you need to already have job experience. But if you need job experience to get the job in the first place, how do you go about meeting this requirement? Increasingly, young people are finding that unpaid internships are the only solution. 60% of employers prefer to hire people who have completed internships. As a result, 55% of college seniors report having worked as interns, more than double the figure from the early 1990’s. More than one million Americans work as interns every year, and about half of those are unpaid. That’s at least 500,000 unpaid interns. If each of those interns worked 40 hours a week for 12 weeks at a minimum wage job, each one would earn $3,480. That’s almost $2 billion combined, and a lot of the work that unpaid interns do is worth more than the minimum wage. What’s going on here?
Since the global economic crisis of 2008, many of the world’s advanced economies continue to struggle to recover. In many of these countries, growth since the crisis has been much slower than it was in the years prior. Indeed, when we look closely, we see that the 2004-2007 growth average is higher than the 2010-2013 average in just about all the major advanced economies, and that in some countries this difference is very large:
What’s holding back recovery? To understand this, we need to understand what kind of economic crisis we’re trying to recover from in the first place. Read the rest of this entry »