Independent Professional Earnings Soar as Number of Online Jobs Hits New Record and Provides Bright Spot in Regions with High Unemployment

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — April 4, 2011 — Elance, the leading platform for online employment, released its quarterly Online Employment Report today, revealing record growth in job posts and earnings. Demand for online contractors grew 32%, with more than 135,000 job posts, and earnings grew 12% from the previous quarter. While unemployment remains high across the US, earnings for online workers increased in 40 out of 50 states and more than a dozen cities with double digit unemployment ranked in the top 50 earning cities on Elance. Businesses on Elance are posting nearly 50,000 new jobs each month, and online workers have earned more than $360 million on the platform.

“Instead of letting their incomes be dictated by their local job market, individuals are taking control of their careers and becoming part of a growing online workforce, bringing their skills to companies all over the country and the world,” said Ellen Pack, vice president of marketing at Elance. “At the same time, businesses looking to grow, but wanting to do it in more flexible and scalable ways than before, are turning to online teams to help them innovate.”

The record setting hiring and job growth aligns with findings from revealing that small business provides approximately 75% of the net new jobs added to the American economy each year.

Tax Preparation, HTML5 Programmers, Android Programmers and iOS Programmers lead the demand for online talent as online work set records with more than 50% growth. To review the full Elance Online Employment Report, please click here.

Notable hiring trends this past quarter include:

Businesses Hang Help Wanted Signs
After cutting headcount to the bare minimum over the past few years, businesses are gearing up for growth in 2011 and adding resources to their teams. Many businesses are adopting hybrid hiring models, filling select positions on staff and supplementing with skill-specific hires online. Online hiring of contract talent allows businesses to grow strategically without committing to ongoing overhead expenses. High energy New York City tops the list of hiring cities at number one, followed by Los Angeles, San Francisco and Brooklyn. Even in economically challenged regions, small businesses are tapping online talent. More than a dozen regions with double digit unemployment rates rank in the top 50 hiring cities on Elance, with five ranking in the top 10: Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, San Diego and San Francisco.

Centers for Online Talent
Online work is growing across the US. Leading the list of the Top 50 earning cities on Elance are New York (#1), Austin (#2) and Los Angeles (#3). While much of the country still faces double digit jobless rates, online work provides a bright sport for regions with high unemployment as professionals create thriving, independent careers. More than a dozen regions with unemployment rates above 10% rank in the top 50 earning cities on Elance, with three breaking into the top 10: Los Angeles (#3), San Francisco (#8) and Portland (#7). Demonstrating that high earnings are not limited to urban meccas, some smaller cities are also represented on the Top 50 earning cities including Chaska, MN (#35), Littleton, CO (#50) and Plant City, FL (#30).

No Freeze on Earnings for Independent Professionals
As traditional employees struggle with wage freezes, earnings for online professionals increased in 40 out of 50 states (80%) including Nevada and California, which currently lead the nation in unemployment rates. Nevada, with currently the highest unemployment rate, saw online earnings grow 16%, while California, with the second highest unemployment rate, grew 12% in online earnings. Oklahoma and Maine both jumped seven spots respectively, while earnings for online professionals in Illinois ranked high to capture the #5 slot.

Tech Trends Drive Job Growth
The iPhone vs. Android war is creating jobs in the IT sector. A successful launch of the Verizon iPhone and the retail frenzy of the iPad 2 have combined to provide an amazing one-two punch in response to Android’s strong Q4 2010. While both iPhone and iPad skills held very strong positions in the top 40, businesses seeking iOS developers spiked tremendously in Q1 of 2011 with an unprecedented 115%. However, don’t count Android out – despite all of the news surrounding Apple, the open-source mobile platform managed to move up two spots to number 36 on the list. Elsewhere in tech, demand for HTML5 Programmers proves it is the skill du jour, continuing its stride upwards with a 46% boost.

Tax Time!
Businesses and entrepreneurs are flexibly staffing up for the annual ritual known as tax time. Demand for online professionals with Tax Preparation skills jumped a huge 87% over last quarter, while businesses seeking Accounting professionals rose an impressive 47%.

America’s Most Creative City: Amarillo, Texas
Amarillo, Texas has retained its number one position for Contractor earnings in the Creative category on Elance. Austin, Texas, a city known for its blossoming technology industry and renowned South by Southwest conference, is now America’s geekiest city. The capital of the Lone Star state exploded into the number one position after jumping 10 spots in Contractor earnings for IT skills in Q1 of 2011. And while the capital of IT has shifted to the south, San Jose, California leapfrogged three traditionally strong Operations cities in Texas to become the Most Organized City. East coast powerhouse New York City holds the #1 spot in Marketing.

About Elance
Elance, the world’s leading platform for online employment, 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 more than $363 million on the Elance platform.

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

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Media Contact:
Carolyn Adams
Phone: (415) 963-4174 ext. 4