Companies that offer unpaid student internships have long been criticized for unfairly benefiting from free labor and attracting only students from wealthier families who can afford to work for nothing.
However, the phenomenon may be slowly ending, the Wall Street Journal reports.
According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), the hourly wage for interns across all degree levels and years increased 3.7% in 2018 to $18.73. In 2014, interns made roughly $16 per hour.
Internships have been on the rise for years. A 2017 NACE survey reported that almost 60% of student respondents interned sometime during the duration of their academic career, a 10% rise from 2007.
With more students interning than ever before in a tighter labor market, it is perhaps unsurprising that students are opting to shop around for paid internships as opposed to simply taking an unpaid one.
According to NACE, the percentage of students taking unpaid internships fell from 50% in 2012 to 43% in 2017.