Are you unemployed? After watching jobless claims decline for weeks, the U.S. Labor Department said Thursday that applications for unemployment benefits were up 25,000 from the previous week. That’s the biggest jump since the 40,000 gain in February.

What does this unexpected rise mean? It means that the economy may be improving, but it hasn’t completely trickled down to the labor market yet. The Labor Department said there were no unusual factors to account for the increase.

If you are among those who have filed for unemployment benefits and are pursuing entrepreneurial interests even as you hunt for a new job, consider how a virtual office could give your bootstrapped start-up an advantage.

Think about it. You have a good idea. You have time on your hands to execute the idea. But you don’t have the cash to rent a traditional office space. And you can’t afford to have your kids accidentally pick up the phone when a potential customer calls. A virtual office space can help you avoid that scenario.

A virtual office space gives unemployed entrepreneurs an image boost by offering a prestigious business address, an 800 or local phone number with an auto attendant, and access to meeting and conference rooms that you can rent on an hourly basis to meet with clients. The virtual office location, whether it’s in Atlanta, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Orlando or Boston, can forward any mail you receive to your home office, and accept packages from UPS or FedEx on your behalf.

The virtual office gives you the opportunity to launch a business with a professional image without breaking the bank. With budgets tighter for families that have members collecting unemployment, every penny counts. Virtual offices help you make those pennies, and dollars, stretch further as you pursue your entrepreneurial dreams.

For less than $100 a month, you can set up offices not only locally, but you can also open a few locations in different cities around the country if your business model demands that reach. Davinci Virtual ahs over 600 locations in the U.S., so as your small business grows your virtual office presence can grow with you.

Check out this video on how to cut office expenses...