U.S. Internship Hiring Cut in Half Since COVID-19 Crisis

April 28, 2020

Update: As of May 11, 2020 there are 20,867 internship openings on Glassdoor in the U.S. Internship hiring on Glassdoor for May 2020 has fallen 49 percent compared to May 2019.

Key Findings: 

  • Over 1 in 2 U.S. internship openings on Glassdoor have been closed since the coronavirus crisis began in the U.S. Internship openings on Glassdoor dropped to 30,806 as of April 13, a 52 percent drop since March 9. 
  • Internship hiring on Glassdoor for April 2020 has fallen 39 percent compared to April 2019.
  • All industries have seen a decline in internship openings over the past month. Travel & tourism was hit the hardest, with internship openings falling by 92 percent since March 9. Accounting & legal saw the smallest drop, with a 22 percent decline in internship postings. 
  • Accounting & legal, manufacturing, computer software & hardware, retail, and healthcare & hospitals are the industries with the most internship openings as of April 2020.  

Internships often serve as a smooth transition into the workforce for college students — but these openings appear to have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Internships have felt this pain even more than the overall job market. We’ve seen job openings on Glassdoor drop to 4.8 million as of April 6, a 20.5 percent decline in openings since March 9. However, online internship openings on Glassdoor dropped to 30,806 as of April 13, a 52 percent drop since March 9, 2020. 1 in 2 internship openings have been closed since the coronavirus crisis began in the U.S. Moreover, intern hiring in April has fallen 39 percent compared to last April.

However, thousands of new opportunities still remain for job seekers on the hunt for an internship. Manufacturing, accounting & legal, and computer software & hardware are the industries with the most internship openings available now. The table below shows the ten industries with the most opportunities for internships right now. While all industries have experienced declines since the coronavirus crisis, select industries are continuing to hire for thousands of intern positions.

Top Ten Industries Hiring the Most Interns

Industry Internship Openings
Accounting & Legal 4,011
Manufacturing 3,412
Computer Software & Hardware 1,821
Retail 1,656
Health Care & Hospitals 1,597
Government 1,238
Banking & Financial Services 1,102
Nonprofit 1,026
Biotech & Pharmaceuticals 974
Architecture & Civil Engineering 938

The bar chart below shows the five industries with the largest and smallest declines in intern openings since March 9. Hiring for interns in travel & tourism has virtually disappeared — internship openings dropped 92 percent since March. While the change is severe, it’s unsurprising as domestic and international travel has essentially come to a crashing halt due to coronavirus-related shutdowns and shelter in place orders. Accounting & legal employers saw the smallest decline in internship openings compared to March, down by 22 percent. The nonprofit and education industries also saw some of the smallest percentage intern hiring declines. As seen below, it’s clear that different industries are experiencing unequal impacts of this crisis with respect to their intern hiring. 


The coronavirus pandemic has had a near-instant impact on U.S. internship hiring. While the number of available internships on Glassdoor has dropped, thousands of internships remain open around the country for those looking for new opportunities. As internships become more virtual, a possibility for internship seekers is to explore opportunities in different locations than they initially planned. If you’re trying to find an internship right now, Glassdoor has compiled advice to help.