- Employer demand for internships is up substantially, search data and job postings from Indeed's Hiring Lab show. February's internship postings have already surpassed the levels of the past two years. Internship postings typically peak in March and are expected to be higher this year than in previous years, according to the research.
- Searches, however, aren't up quite as much. They've passed 2016 levels, but haven't surpassed numbers for 2017. Like postings, searches also peak in March, when students and recent graduates are looking for summer internships, with a lesser peak in November, when they're looking for spring internships. There's no similar peak before the fall semester begins, meaning students are generally looking for spring and summer internships.
- As a share of all job searches on Indeed, 2018 searches that include the words "intern" or "internship" number about the same as in the past two years.
With internship postings up but searches not quite following, competition for summers interns could be stiff. Now is the time to start posting, however, with searches peaking this month.
Employers' demand for interns might be at its highest in the last few years, but the demand began rising in 2017, notes Collegegrad.com. The site's list of companies offering internships has some pretty "heavy hitters," meaning smaller employers need to get in the race early; internships are a great pipeline source for future talent and can help a company establish a strong employer brand to better attract candidates down the line.
Relaxed rules around internships also could be contributing to the bump in numbers. The U.S. Department of Labor recently scrapped its six-factor test for determining whether workers are unpaid interns or employees entitled to compensation under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Instead, it has adopted the “primary beneficiary” test that several federal appeals courts use. Some experts say the change won't have a big impact, but others have predicted that it would increase demand for interns, as some companies had scaled back their internship programs in light of aggressive enforcement by the Obama administration.