Glassdoor Senior Economist Daniel Zhao joins Yahoo Finance Live to discuss the 25 highest paying internships.
AKIKO FUJITA: I mean, if you're looking for an internship right now, the pay there isn't so bad either, especially if you're looking to work in tech. Glassdoor is out with its new list of top 100-- or top 10, I should say-- highest paying internships. And for that, we've got Daniel Zhao. He is Glassdoor senior economist.
And Daniel, I'm going to get to that list in just a bit. But I'd love to kind of get your take on where you think things stand on the economic front. We've got a lot of commentary from Fed officials this week, who very clearly messaged the fact that they will have to move aggressively, raise rates substantially to control inflation. We had Matthew Luzzetti on from Deutsche Bank yesterday, who said he, as a result of Fed policy, sees a recession at the end of 2023. What do you see?
DANIEL ZHAO: Well, the job market right now is red hot. We see that job openings are still very close to record highs. The Great Resignation is still going on. And hiring itself is also very strong. So ultimately, the job market is red hot. It is, I would say, very healthy. We are seeing pretty strong jobs growth still. There is this open question about inflation that's still, of course, a concern.
And there are some headwinds, not just the Fed starting to raise interest rates, but there's also geopolitical uncertainty from the war in Ukraine. So there are some headwinds. I think the recession talk is probably a little bit premature. But certainly, if we've learned anything over the last two years, it's that we can't be surprised by the fact that there are surprises.
BRIAN CHEUNG: Daniel, there's kind of a labor market story that's been catching the attention of a lot of people, the general populace, and that is the news that Walmart is going to be offering $110,000 a year salary to new drivers. And this makes sense because we've heard about the issue in trying to find people with a commercial driver's license.
When you take a look at the jobs market data-- we recently just got a print covering the month of March-- are there certain pockets in industries like these types of skilled work that require, in many cases, licenses among this hot labor market? And does that suggest to you that, even among the large corporates like Walmart, there is perhaps a wage price spiral concern brewing?
DANIEL ZHAO: Yeah, I think there's kind of two elements to that question. The first is that there certainly are pockets of the economy where hiring is even harder for employers. And so there really is this very aggressive push to not just hire workers, but also to try different things, whether it's just quite simply raising wages or offering on the job training or lowering requirements. Maybe not for truck drivers, but there are certainly more companies that are experimenting with removing college degree requirements from jobs that don't necessarily require those skills or that level of certification and education.
On top of that, this question about the wage price spiral, well, it's kind of up to how companies are passing on those costs. We've seen a lot of companies say that they do actually have the pricing power in order to pass on the costs of not just higher wages, but also supply chain disruptions and those higher input costs onto consumers. And so that's kind of a critical question that needs to be watched moving forward, is, how much pricing power do companies retain, especially as some of these effects of fiscal stimulus start to wear off this year?
AKIKO FUJITA: So let's talk about this list that you have put out, top 10 highest paying internships. No surprise tech companies are at the top, but $10,000 a month?
DANIEL ZHAO: Yeah, I think it was quite shocking, honestly, to see how high some of these salaries are for interns. Certainly, I did not get paid quite this much at my internships when I was a student. But I think it really does speak to the fact that these companies are seeking out top talent, and they're seeking out top talent even earlier than they would be before.
So these are companies that have been hiring software engineers or quantitative analysts. And they recognize that in a very tight labor market, it's important to try to reach out to candidates even before they graduate to build those connections and build those relationships. And obviously, one of the very appealing ways of doing that is to offer very attractive salaries.
BRIAN CHEUNG: I hope Roblox isn't paying it in Robux. I want to ask about just the general internship landscape right now. We know that among the strength that workers have right now, there's been some criticism of the free internship model that seemed to prevail leading up, and then, actually, post great financial crisis as well. When we take a look at paid internship programs, are we overlooking the trend of free internships, as well? Does that still remain a story, or are you seeing a big change there, too?
DANIEL ZHAO: I think that's a big question mark that we have going forward because, yes, there is this criticism of free internship models because I mean, quite frankly, we have had so much discussion about labor, about workers, about the increasing leverage that workers are getting, especially over the last two years, and kind of this shift in the balance of power. So my personal guess is that we should see free internships start to fade out, just as more people are aware of the problems that come with offering a free internship. And hopefully, that tight labor market actually incentivizes companies to make sure that they're paying interns for the work that they're providing.