SOURCE: Elance


December 07, 2011 09:00 ET

Elance Predicts Market for Online Contingent Work to Double Again in 2012

Businesses Hiring Online Up 120% in 2011; Global Worker Earnings on Elance Set to Surpass $500 Million; U.S. Workers Export Professional Services

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA--(Marketwire - Dec 7, 2011) - Despite a stagnant employment market in 2011, online hiring has grown at a record pace, up more than 100% from 2010. Elance, the leading platform for online work, released its 2011 Online Employment Review today, which reveals that the future of work will be contingent, global and online. As more companies seek instant access to talent and greater flexibility to run their businesses, individuals are taking control of their future by building careers as independent professionals.

While global economies continue to struggle with job creation, online work thrived this year with 650,000 new jobs posted, and cumulative earnings set to surpass $500 million. The number of businesses hiring on Elance and the number of online professionals working on Elance grew more than 120%. Earnings for online professionals rose in more than 100 countries around the world. In the U.S., earnings rose in 43 out of 50 states, including some of the hardest hit regions in unemployment such as Michigan, Nevada and South Carolina. For the full 2011 Online Employment Review, click here.

"This year's job numbers suggest a structural change in traditional employment, as more businesses are adopting online and contingent work as a core business strategy," said Fabio Rosati, CEO of Elance. "Fueled by technology, work is no longer confined to the 9-5 and the office. Knowledge workers are building independent careers by working online with multiple clients, from their home, from public spaces or from co-located offices. The ability to gain instant access to qualified talent with in-demand skills regardless of location is a global trend that is starting to change the way businesses and people work."

2011 Reflections: Online Hiring

Businesses are developing innovative workforce models that blend full-time and part-time, local and remote, employed and contracted workers. The practice of hiring and managing talent online is spreading and 83% of small businesses surveyed by Elance plan to hire up to 50% of their workers as online contractors online in the next 12 months.

More people are pursuing independent careers and using online platforms like Elance to reinvent their careers. The 2011 Elance survey of online freelance professionals indicated that nearly 1 in 3 workers began freelancing to be their own boss and work on the type of projects they love. The top benefits of online work cited include the ability to control their own schedule (90%), follow their passion (87%) and eliminate the commute (85%).

2011 Reflections: Hot Skills in Demand

The number of businesses seeking to hire online workers doubled in 2011. An analysis of the more than 650,000 jobs posted on Elance this year highlights skills in demand online:

  • Software development skills such as HTML5 (+238%), Mobile (+137%), WordPress (+100%), Facebook (+66%) and Twitter (+47%)
  • Creative skills like Graphic Design (+176%) and Content Writing (+72%)
  • Marketing skills such as Internet Marketing (+132%), Marketing Communications (+53%) and Telemarketing (+52%)
  • Administrative skills including Transcription (+114%), Administrative Support (+87%) and Data Entry (+69%)
  • Consulting skills ranging from Product Manufacturing (+186%), Architectural Design (+185%), Financial Analysis (+140%) and Legal (+86%) to Business Strategy (+76%)

Looking Forward: Predictions for 2012

In 2012, the market for online contingent work is set to double as more businesses across the globe hire and manage workers online for the first time. Below are four trends that will shape the world of work in 2012:

  • The rise of the global, virtual workplace. Companies will increasingly tap into the online workforce across geographic boundaries to support key business initiatives. More professionals will build independent careers by working with multiple clients all over the world. Online contractors will collaborate with each other remotely, across geographies and time zones. Technological advancements enabling better online collaboration, telepresence, skills assessment and identity verification, will make significant contributions to the new virtual workplace.

  • Professional services become America's next great export. The global demand for U.S. talent has increased steadily over the past year and is set to grow even faster as online platforms like Elance break down global barriers and open up opportunities for collaboration. In 2011, US-based contractors exported their services to more than 140 countries, and global hiring of U.S. professionals saw a significant increase in more than 60 countries.

  • Increased adoption of the contingent workforce elevates the importance of compliance. To tap the power of a flexible workforce, companies around the world will turn to platforms like Elance to facilitate compliance with their internal controls and evolving government regulations.

  • Promising online careers for 2012. Online hiring for specialized skills will continue to expand in 2012. Promising online careers for 2012 include:

    • Software Developer
    • Visual Designer
    • User Experience Designer
    • Digital Marketer
    • Technical Writer
    • Web Researcher
    • Data Analyst
    • Content Moderator
    • Accountant
    • Distributed Workforce Manager

About Elance
Elance, the world's leading platform for online work, helps businesses hire and manage in the cloud.

For businesses looking to staff-up a team on an hourly or project basis, Elance offers instant access to qualified professionals who work online. Elance provides the tools to hire, view work as it progresses and pay for results. Elance is faster and more cost-effective than job boards, staffing firms and traditional outsourcing.

For skilled professionals who want to work online, Elance offers access to qualified clients, a virtual workplace and guaranteed pay for great work. Contractors have already earned nearly $500 million on the Elance platform.

The company is privately held and headquartered in Mountain View, California. To take advantage of the massive growth in demand for its services across the world, Elance opened European headquarters in Oslo. For more information, visit Elance at

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Emily Borders
    Phone: (415) 963-4174 ext. 1
    Email: emily(at)