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Freelancing boom: Fact or Fantasy?

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The National Unemployment Ratings have been falling consistently during 2013, dropping from 7.9% in January to 7.0% just last month. But there is substantial proof that nearly 90 million American workers have all but quit searching for new employment altogether. Many others are choosing instead to create a living wage through a combination of freelancing opportunities.

With today’s end of Unemployment Benefits looming for over 1 million out-of-work Americans, with nearly 2 million additional being threatened in the coming months, CBS News is reporting that the “90 million” number may be just a drop in the proverbial bucket.

The end of the program may prompt a drop in the nation’s unemployment rate, but not necessarily for a good reason. People out of work are required to look for work to receive unemployment benefits. As benefits disappear, some jobless will stop looking for work out of frustration and will no longer be counted as unemployed.”

This makes one wonder if President Obama and the Republican Congress are actually secretly working hand-in-hand, even though the public perception is one of constant conflict and stalemates. As much as our government officials seem to offer hand-wringing concern for the well-being of the unemployed, many economists and political experts, including Bradley Klapper from the Huffington Post, believe that the main driving force behind stopping the unemployment benefits is to simply keep the National Unemployment Ratings dropping even farther, just in time for the Presidential Election of 2016.

So is the Freelancing Boom “Fact or Fantasy”? ABC News is offering their “10 Best (and Real) Work-at-Home Jobs”, freelancing opportunities that include everything from Virtual Teacher to Freelancing Writer and Editor. Most of the job ideas listed do not even require a college degree, but budding entrepreneurs should be prepared to work hard for your money. DigitalTrends.com is warning these newly inspired freelancers-in-training to think it through completely before quitting their day jobs.

While there are many freelancing websites online and getting a lot of press, the “Big Four” of Guru.com, Elance, oDesk and Freelance.com are filled with highly competitive freelancers from all over the world. Jeremey Wensinger from Washington, DC is a professional freelance writer who has offered his services on most of these websites in the past before finding a permanent home at Fiverr.com. Wensinger states,

“Many of the jobs on those other freelance websites are usually awarded to the lowest bidder. I live in Washington, DC, one of the most expensive cities in the United States. I simply can’t compete with freelance writers from India and Portugal who beat my bids for “pennies on the dollar”. Fiverr allows me to specialize in a few different niches and writing styles, allowing me to build a stable client base of repeat buyers.

So, is the Freelancing Boom “Fact or Fantasy”? It appears to be both. The rise in professional freelancers cannot be debated (Fact), but the ease of building a consistent and profitable business is often a great deal more difficult than one might expect (Fantasy).

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