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Working Abroad

Unemployment in the USA has become a very real concern for a growing number of Americans. The last decade has yielded an ever increasing unemployment rate. In 1999, the percentage of unemployed Americans was listed at 4.2% and, ten years later in 2009, was cited by the United States Department of Labor at a whopping 9.8%.

In 2007, the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury called the impending bursting of the housing bubble "the most significant risk to our economy." Since the burst, we have all seen the increasing number of foreclosures and felt the rise in both unemployment and bankruptcy on both an individual and corporate scale (think Borders Bookstore). However, in recent years, a new trend is beginning to emerge.

A growing number of American professionals, students, and blue-collar workers are taking their search for work and the American dream abroad.

The State Department has estimated the number of Americans working or studying abroad to be nearly 6.5 million this year, and that number is only getting larger year after year. There are many reasons, some individual, some fairly common, that Americans are looking elsewhere for the opportunities once synonymous with the land of the free.

Many have lost faith in the economy over recent years. Others have seen the hardships endured by their peers who have been overwhelmed by debt and are now faced with foreclosure. Some are simply seeking a less monotonous lifestyle.

They are looking beyond the drab "cookie-cutter" scenery of the 9-5, 40hrs a week suburban lifestyle that has become commonplace in middle-class America. They have capitalized on opportunities and incentives which are seldom, at best, in our current economic climate. Many American corporations have outsourced thier operations to places like China and South America where the cost of production and distribution is considerably cheaper.

The second edge of that sword, however, is that the cost of living in these areas is also considerably cheaper. For example, the average cost of a two bedroom apartment in Thailand is only $220 monthly.

Americans abroad can often lead a higher quality of lifestyle simply because it costs significantly less to do so. Naturally, this is not universal and varies by country, profession, region..etc. The same two bedroom apartment in Nottingham, England, for example, would cost roughly $900 a month. Most expats, however, seem to consistently find that with some patience and research they can obtain a lifestyle that is no longer as readily available to them stateside.

Whether you are looking to immerse yourself in an exciting new culture, or simply looking for work, millions of Americans are successfully transplanting their lives to foreign countries all over the world. It's widely excepted that a generous amount of global citizens may despise American Politics but sincerely love Americans.

One thing is for sure: developing countries have developing populations and expanding industries. Where there is expanding industry, there's work to be done and thus plenty of employment opportunity. The future of the American economy has been a mystery as of late and while there are multitudes of spectators who would all certainly make different projections about where we will be as a nation in the years to come, many Americans are outsourcing themselves and their families as a permanent solution to a temporary uncertainty.


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