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Then there are my friends who have been downsized from the publishing company I used to work for and have managed to keep the lights on and food on the table by turning to freelance editing work. Unfortunately, every company in the publishing industry has drastically cut the rates they pay for freelance work because--and this is really kind of horrifically funny--there is such a huge pool of qualified freelancers because every company has gone through some form of downsizing!
That pretty much describes exactly what has happened to us this year. We're freelance, but thought we had a regular gig, because one of the shows we worked on since the first season has just been doing great with many awards. But we didn't get the call. Then we heard that another person who worked on it too, full time with HC benefits, got the boot. Then a little later, guess what, he got hired back part time (no benefits.)
I don't blame the employer, there is less work out there, so they simply can't justify paying full time wages and benefits, if people aren't busy and productive for a full 40 hour work week. Something had to be done to protect the company, and the cost savings that made the most sense was to find a way to stop paying for those health care packages