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(LA Times)–Malibu resident Ashley St. Johns-Jacobs, 40, typically rises before 5 a.m. to get to her job at the Los Angeles city attorney’s office by 8 a.m. After a full day prosecuting misdemeanors, she often brings work home. What she doesn’t bring home is a paycheck. With no position open, she has been working as an unpaid intern for nearly a year in hopes of eventually getting hired when a job opens up. “We live on a tight budget,” said St. Johns-Jacobs, whose husband works as a microphone boom operator for Hollywood studios. “But someday they will be hiring.” Meet the new interns. With the unemployment rate still high and the economy not creating nearly enough jobs to put the nation’s 13.7 million unemployed back to work, seasoned workers like St. Johns-Jacobs are doing what was once unthinkable: working for free.

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