The rise of the freelancer in a flat economy

As a Trends subscriber, you know the drill: The healthy unemployment rates shoved down our throats every month are a smoke screen. Not only in the US, but throughout the western world.

As Dr. Paul Craig Roberts writes in the upcoming winter Trends Journal:

“A 5.6 percent rate of unemployment suggests that Americans have a reasonable chance of finding a job.  Yet we know that there are millions of discouraged workers who have given up looking for a job… the 5.6 percent unemployment rate does not include unemployed people who have not looked for a job in the previous four weeks. These unemployed are called “discouraged workers.” If they have been discouraged for less than one year, they are counted in a seldom-reported measure of unemployment… This rate stands at 11.2 percent, twice as high as the unemployment rate stressed by government and financial media.”

With younger demographics and, increasingly, boomers finding it difficult to break into quality job markets and or back into them, more skilled workers are making a modest living as freelancers and contractors.

The institute has been reporting on this evolving trend for two years as it relates to aging boomers who have been laid off but still need to work. This demographic is learning how to survive by becoming self-employed entrepreneurs. They’re earning less money, but they’re getting by and are generally more content.

These workers are more content because they are their own bosses and are doing, generally speaking, what they love to do.

Freelancers are especially rising in creative professions, such as writers or photographers for magazines and newspapers, for example, that, with downsizing, have been forced to cut full-time staffs and rely much more on freelancers.

Freelancing is an obvious choice for boomers who still have bills to pay but are considered too old to re-enter the workforce on a full-time basis. 

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