Bloomberg works with Freelancers' Union to develop benefits

In a recent press conference, New York's mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that he was working with The Freelancers' Union to develop an unemployment safety net for the nation's growing population of self-employed workers. The proposal would allow freelancers to deposit pre-tax earnings into a fund that they could then draw upon when they aren't working. The mayor also stated that he is working with the New York state legislature to reduce the unincorporated business tax, which would also ease the burden on freelancers.

The current recession is swelling the ranks of the self-employed. One such worker, Luke Kramer, was let go early this year from his job in the senior care and housing industry. In the following weeks, he called headhunters, applied for jobs, and searched endlessly for positions in his field. He joined Monster.com, LinkedIn, and the Ladders, and started to consider whether he needed to retool for a job in another industry, or just needed to lower his expectations to stay in his current career.