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Is unemployment dying?

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On Febuary 2, 2014, Forbes posted an article online, posing the question ‘Is “Unemployment” a thing of the past?’ The article is reiterating what many of us have already been thinking since the posting of the US Unemployment Ratings of December of 2012 which witnessed a sharp decline but is still hovering near 7%. This news was followed by the reduction in national unemployment benefits, which affected over 1 million people instantly with several more million expected to be affected in the coming months. So, how are people surviving without jobs or food stamps?

Freelancing is on the rise. Forbes is quick to point out the success of sites like Fiverr.

Fiverr provides would-be employers with access to vast creative skills and unique services. Merchants, entrepreneurs and contractors in more than 200 countries use Fiverr to monetize their skills and resources. They offer $5 ‘Gigs’ ranging from web design, logo creation and market research to personal greetings and video animation. Customers access these jobs for services they need rendered. Fiverr helps service-providers collect payments, promote their services, manage orders, exchange files and communicate with buyers.”

This is high praise coming from perhaps the world’s leading financial magazine for entrepreneurs, investors and business owners. But many in the Fiverr community have already reaped many of the financial rewards from joining this 3-year old freelancing website. Over 15% of the freelancers on Fiverr claim this site as their primary source of income.

Fiverr posted a blog entry on February 3, 2014, a story about two freelancing professionals who managed to pay for their entire wedding through “gigging” on Fiverr. Susan and Tom, a professional in the entertainment industry and a marketing executive respectively, joined forces on Fiverr and created the wedding of their dreams without having to go into debt. Similar stories are cited on the Fiverr blog as well, of new college graduates paying off student loans and of more experienced out-of-work professionals finding their way back from the brink of bankruptcy through working on Fiverr.

As Forbes says in their recent article, “Despite all the effort and money pumped into creating jobs, the consensus is that results have been mediocre at best.” It seems as if Americans are redefining the term “jobs” and taking matters into their own hands through offering freelancing services, and Fiverr is leading the way.

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