Employers plan to pep up their summer internship programs, according to a study released Tuesday by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

Surveyed employers said they expect to ratchet up internship hires by 8.5 percent this year. Nearly all said they will pay their college interns.

NACE executive director Marilyn Mackes said many employers use summer internships as a way to gage students' talents and fill full-time slots later on.

The survey found that responding organizations expect to pay bachelor’s degree-level interns $16.21 per hour on average.   That’s down slightly from $16.68 in 2011.  

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