I was a freelance (self-employed) translator for many years; I also worked for temp agencies doing secretarial/word processing work for a while when I wasn't getting enough translation work to get by. It worked out well. In any big city, there was plenty of temp work available. As long as I had reliable transportation.

Analysts say that the number of freelancers & temps in the US workforce is going to continue rising:

There were 17.7 million independent workers in the U.S. in 2013, up 10% from 2011. The number is expected to climb to 24 million by 2018, according to MBO Partners Inc. [...]
Anyway, here's a short article that talks about how to find support and resources for any of you headed into the freelance/temp sector: An Emerging Boom in Benefits for Freelancers - WSJ