Not a day goes by that we aren’t reminded of the high unemployment rate here at home. Is the U.S. truly suffering from a lack of jobs, or are they simply harder to find than in previous years? Our unemployment rate stands at a rate of 8.2% currently, a whopping 2.4% above the average between 1948 and now. The all time high for unemployment in America was reached in 1982, when it hit an unbelievable 10.8%. Is there a solution to this problem in the near future?

The fact is, many Americans have already found their answer in a new form of career. Telecommuting is becoming more popular, as more people are discovering the availability of work at home careers. In fact, reports show that more than 2% of the workforce here in the U.S. are telecommuters. That means that every day, while you wake up an hour earlier to get your morning cup of coffee in before you have to leave for work, 2.8 million Americans will sleep that extra hour, then wake up and power up their laptop to begin their workday in their pajamas.

You may wonder how this could be possible, that a company would actually pay you to work from home, just like a “real” job. Well, here are some facts that may astound you. Thousands of different companies will pay people, just like you, to work from the comfort of your own home. These companies vary in size and occupation, from small web blogs seeking people to post for them, to large multi-billion dollar powerhouses. For instance, released a list containing some of the top 100 companies in the U.S. who hire telecommuters, and some of the names may surprise you.

Intel, who is ranked number 53 out of the top 100, states that 82% of its employees are regular telecommuters, while S.C. Johnson & Son admits that 40% of their staff are work at home employees. Pricewaterhouse Coopers, one of the largest tax consulting firms in the U.S., holds a 70% telecommuting staff, and American Fidelity Assurance has a 37% rating. These are some of the top corporations in their respective fields, all offering telecommuting positions.

America’s economy is changing, and many companies sense that change. They have learned that it is more cost effective to outsource to telecommuters, than to build or lease costly office space to house their employees. Compound this with millions of dollars saved, by not having to purchase computers and other costly equipment, and you can see for yourself that hiring work at home employees can offer big savings.

Another benefit to consider, if you’re a business owner, is the fact that telecommuters often perform better than in house staff. Telecommuters seem to be more motivated to perform, and less distracted by high stress situations often found in corporate offices. This means they can focus on their work and deliver more productive solutions to employers.

If you’re an employee in the “regular” world, then more power to you! As for me, I will continue to sleep that extra hour, then sit here coffee in hand, and type in my jeans and t-shirt.