Are unpaid internships exploitative?

interns
Jenny Pazar, an intern, fills out a form as she looks for a job at a job fair in Portland, Oregon.
Natalie Behring/Getty Images

With a tough job market, the number of unpaid internships are on the rise. Some people think that internships exploit young workers while others say they are an invaluable way to gain workplace experience.

Kerri's guest, Ross Perlin, author of Intern Nation: How to Earn Nothing and Learn Little in the Brave New Economy, says in the New York Times that the unpaid work causes "constricted social and professional mobility, growing inequality, and an economy whose top tier is becoming less and less diverse."

David Lat, Founder and Managing Editor of Above the Law, says in the Times that two of the best work experiences he has ever had were unpaid and that, assuming an unpaid internship is mutually beneficial and entered into freely by both parties, the government should look the other way. He'll also join Kerri.

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