Elance Blog

New Elance Global Employment Report Highlights Online Work Trends

Today we're at an inflection point in online work, with over two million users from 150+ countries around the world on the Elance, according to the new Global Online Employment Report we've released today. We think this new quarterly report offers unparalleled visibility into the global online employment market and includes Elance's results for the quarter along with key trends data.

This new report offers great transparency into hiring and employment trends across the globe, and we believe this data could help the members of our community better understand the market. Among some of our Q1 highlights:

New Quarterly Records
Elance's results for the quarter set new records, with 193,000 new job posts and contractor earnings of $43M. The number of businesses hiring on Elance for the first time jumped 21%, and new user registrations totalled 260,000 for the quarter as Elance's user base of clients and contractors continues to climb. IT and Marketing hiring managers looking for specialized talent posted more than 120,000 jobs.

Businesses Investing in Growth
Employment data from the U.S. Labor Department continues to be mixed and the economic picture remains soft around the world. However, Elance's leading indicators suggest the economic outlook may be changing in the upcoming months. Demand for skills such as business card design (+51%), market research (+49%), branding (+44%) and lead generation (+39%) were all up significantly in Q1. This trend implies that companies are investing in new business development activities, possibly signalling expectations of increased growth.

Alternative to the Local Economy
“One of the benefits of online work is the ability for contractors (and businesses) to ‘escape’ their local economies,” said Kjetil Olsen, vice president, Europe at Elance. “A number of countries in Europe have weak economies and the workers in these countries are seeking work online. It's a great solution — temporary or permanent.” Elance contractors in Greece and Spain, for example, have experienced sizeable growth in earnings, increasing 122% and 142% respectively over the past year alone.

Significant Rise in Creative
Creative (Design, Multimedia and Writing) now accounts for 42% of total jobs posted on Elance. The rise in creative jobs has been driven by consumer demand for video, audio and visuals and by marketers incorporating this content into marketing and social media strategies. Graphic design jobs are now the second most demanded skill on Elance, and other skills in this category increased substantially in Q1, including: video production (+68%), video editing (+56%), audio editing (+52%) and voiceover (+48%).

IT Continues to Dominate, Mobile Up
Information Technology remains the top category on the Elance platform in Q1 led by PHP (+33%) and HTML (+29%). Demand for mobile app developers continues, with 17,000 app jobs posted in the quarter. Job posts for Android developers rose 35%, and iPhone and iPad jobs increased 27% over last quarter. Demand for Blackberry (+14%) and Windows Mobile (+9%) apps trailed behind slightly but still experienced growth.

More Q1 data and trends analysis is available in the Global Online Employment Report and additional data can be found in the Trends section of the Elance website.


As a service provider,what interests me is the actual jobs awarded.Jobs posted is also a good number but awarded jobs is what should be considered in such reports.

I feel a lot of enthusiastic first timers post the job and forget about it and it's time lost by all the providers who have applied for it.Some measures should be taken to minimize this,maybe by returning the points to the providers.

I have to agree with NumbaSoft. If a job goes un-awarded the contacts used by everyone that bid on the project should be returned to them. I understand that sometimes projects fall through and no job is awarded, but when I see a proposal and the company has a lot of un-awarded projects I avoid them in fear of loosing contacts.