As predicted, the jobless rate rose across all US states in April, according to figures from the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. The dire economic situation has meant that some of the unemployed are now looking for more creative means of making money.
According to the BLS, 43 states in the US recorded record-high unemployment, with Nevada the worst hit. There, the economic impact on the tourism and hospitality industries mean the unemployment rate now stands at an unprecedented 28.2%. That’s double the national rate of 14.7%.
For many, getting out of the unemployment trap will be a formidable task in the coming months. With stay-at-home orders still in place in many parts of the US, opportunities to work from home are slim and fiercely contested.
Many experts, such as Paul Halme who wrote Paul Halme The Money Fight, are suggesting people think outside the box to get out of financial difficulty. Barbara O’Neil, professor emerita at Rutgers University, suggested something similar.
“Think about things that you have done that people have complimented,” she said. “When you think of all those things together, you’ll see where your skills and interests lie.”
For many this will mean taking on part-time gigs while they land that perfect opportunity. For others, it means getting creative with their existing skills.
According to Forbes, the current economic situation has seen a rise in content creators who are exploiting their talents using videos, writing, photography, online courses and other means to make money. As a result of this trend, sites like Teachable, which delivers user-generated online courses, and Shopify, which allows almost anyone to set up an online shop, have seen an explosion in subscribers.
There is a clear reason why this trend is happening. With most people stuck at home and being unable to travel, they are saving hours a day on what would have been their commuter journey. This time is being applied in increasing their personal brand and creative projects which in turn lead to new financial opportunities.
While it is true, as lockdown eases, gig economy workers will go back to their jobs, the skills many will have learnt during this period, to market themselves on platforms such as YouTube, will result in a complete change in the nature of employment and money making. Despite the current economic hardships, this is a great opportunity for those who are creative enough to take it.