Obama administration touts unpaid internships for jobless youth

Barack Obama at a town hall meeting hosted by Facebook last year

Barack Obama at a town hall meeting hosted by Facebook last year

Barack Obama at a town hall meeting hosted by Facebook last year

A little news from across the pond, where young people have not escaped the curse of unemployment amid the economic crisis. The Obama administration says it has persuaded businesses and charities to offer “nearly 180,000” summer jobs for America’s young people — but it appears some tens of thousands of those positions will be unpaid internships. UPI news agency reports:

U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said in a teleconference with reporters the administration had already worked with corporations and non-profits to come up with nearly 180,000 paid and unpaid opportunities for youths this coming summer […]

The administration’s goal is for at least 100,000 of the placements to be in paid jobs and internships. The rest would be non-paid internships, and other mentoring and life- and job-skills learning situations.

Kenneth Schortgen Jr, a blogger at Examiner.com, picks up figures reported by The Hill, the US Congress’ paper of record, which suggest that as many as 110,000 of the new positions will be unpaid.

The youth jobs announcement coincides with the publication of the latest US unemployment data, which appear to show some improvement, at 8.5% for December 2011, compared to 8.7% for November.

But Angus Johnston, blogging at Student Activism, points out that the unemployment rate for 16- to 19-year-olds remains high at 23.1%. Meanwhile Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge says the figures hide the reality that millions of Americans have dropped out of the labour force — and, by extension, the unemployment figures — since 2007.

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Comments
One Response to “Obama administration touts unpaid internships for jobless youth”
  1. Nicely done linkblogging – fleshing out the core link with lots of context from other links. Value added.

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