All 50 States Join Online Labor Phenomenon as Earnings for US-Based Online Talent Grew 45% in 2009

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — February 17, 2010 — According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the number of people who are self-employed increased to roughly 42 million at the end of 2009. Data introduced today by Elance shows its online talent pool made more than $70 million in 2009 — a 45 percent increase for US service providers alone since the beginning of last year. Businesses hiring on Elance grew at a dramatic rate — up more than 40 percent since 2008 while total earnings by people working on Elance passed $245,000,000. The trends demonstrate that online talent is an important employment segment. The labor market increasingly involves flexible work arrangements, self-employed workers and a shift to online workplaces.

Mobile Madness:

While web development remains the top subcategory this past year on Elance (PHP, the most popular skill in 2009, is in this category), demand for mobile development exploded as one of the fastest growing skill subcategories, with a 180 percent increase in earnings in 2009. And, in 2010, there is already strong demand for mobile skills. Within 24 hours of the Apple iPad announcement, 20 iPad application development jobs were immediately posted on Elance. At the time of this release, there are 70 open iPad jobs on the site. This trend is likely to follow the fast growth of iPhone projects which saw more than 8,800 iPhone jobs completed on Elance in 2009. In addition, Android is rising fast in the ranking of skills in demand — up 400 percent in the past 6 months with more than 170 projects posted in the last month alone.

Craving Creativity: Dollars spent by businesses hiring creative skill sets increased over 40 percent in 2009, and the growing trend continues into the new decade. In January 2010, companies are hiring creative professionals with skills in Writing (the #1 ranked skill in this category) and Graphic Design (#2) to augment the product and marketing functions inside their organizations.

On-And-Offline Marketing: Demand for both online and traditional marketing talent continued to grow rapidly in 2009. Top marketing skills, including Search Engine Optimization (#1), Internet Marketing (#2), Lead Generation (#3), and Social Media Marketing (#7) showed a 46 percent growth in earnings.

“As we move forward in 2010, more people will make the online workplace their new office and will log in to get to work,” said Ellen Pack, Vice President of Marketing at Elance. “Three trends have come together to make this possible. Companies continue to look for greater flexibility and efficiency, more skilled professionals are choosing to work independently, and managing online work has become easier than ever due to sophisticated web applications, mobile devices and cloud computing platforms. This year, in particular, we will begin to see an interesting shift from small businesses to larger enterprises accelerating their use of online talent.”

To access the full Elance Online Talent report, please click

About Elance

Elance, the world’s leading online talent marketplace, helps companies hire and manage professionals online to get work done and grow their businesses.

Elance instantly matches employers with a ready and qualified workforce of more than 100,000 rated and tested professionals with technical, marketing and business skills, and provides the tools to manage online and pay for results. With more than $245 million in earnings to date, contractors and service providers around the world use Elance to meet employers and get paid for delivering great results.

The company is privately held and headquartered in Mountain View, California. For more information, visit Elance at

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