European Online Employment Report


Record Growth Quarter

Elance Q3 2011 Snapshot

Active Freelancers: 511,109
Active Clients: 178,293
Job Posts: 150,954
Quarterly Earnings: $37,537,900
Lifetime Earnings: $524,516,627

Q3 2011 Highlights

Online Hiring Fast Growing In Europe

As businesses generated more demand for online talent, we saw hiring expand internationally during Q3. While the United States remained at the top for hiring countries, a new increase in online hiring has been seen in Europe, which now boasts four of the top ten positions: U.K. (#3), Germany (#7), Netherlands (#8) and Switzerland (#9). European businesses had a 53% increase in spend in total in Q3, with the biggest growth coming from Italy (+87%), Norway (+69%) and France (+64%).

European Freelancers Seeing Gains

Overall, freelancer earnings in Europe continued to grow since Q2, though the top five earning countries remained unchanged from the previous quarter—Ukraine, Russia, Romania, United Kingdom and Serbia.

Others countries seeing significant growth include Turkey (+79%), Poland (+58%) and Sweden (+26%).

Key Business Skills in Demand for Q3

While jobs are the topic of discussion throughout the world, demand for professionals with key business skills is driving growth in online employment at a record pace. In Q3, Elancers earned a record $38 million, up 51% over last year.

Fluctuations in the economy has not slowed online job creation as businesses are posting over 620,000 jobs annually while the number of new businesses adopting online hiring increased 107% since last year.

Engineers Build Momentum in the Cloud

Businesses are seeking engineering experts across nearly every discipline today. Chemical Engineering (+155%) saw tremendous growth followed by Network Engineering (+45%), Civil Engineering (+36%), Electrical Engineering (+28%), and Mechanical Engineering (+13%).

Those specializing in CAD skills also showed increases in demand as Auto CAD (+32%) Archi CAD (+60%), and Rhino CAD (+7%) were also highly sought after by employers in Q3.

Compliance Now a Top Priority

Increased pressure for businesses to ensure full compliance with local laws and regulations has caused a surge in demand for legal professionals.

Lawyers specializing in Tax Law (+69%), International Law (+27%) and Employment Law (+13%) all saw significant increases in demand for their skills during Q3 2011.

3D Tech a Main Attraction for Businesses

The demand for multimedia skills heats up as businesses seek another dimension for visual storytelling. After Effects rose 24%, Videography went up by 33%, Final Cut Pro saw a 26% increase and demand for Video Editing went up by 21%.

In Q3, 3D technology became a target for businesses as demand for 3D multimedia experts saw a sharp increase, with 3D Studio Max up 61%, 3D Modeling up 28%, and 3D up 13%.

Mobile Trends Upwards; iOS Poised to Strike

Businesses with a focus on mobile platforms have been prepping for the highly anticipated iPhone and iOS5 release, fueling a 32% increase in demand for iOS skills as well as a 25% growth in demand for those with iPad-specific skills.

However, Android continued to take more market share in Europe and is fast approaching Symbian as the leading mobile operating system, causing a 14% surge in demand for Android skills.

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Who Clients are Hiring


Number of Total Job Posts
Number of IT Job Posts
Number of Creative Job Posts
Number of Marketing Job Posts
Number of Operations Job Posts

What Online Workers are Earning


Total Freelancer Earnings
IT Freelancer Earnings
Creative Freelancer Earnings
Marketing Freelancer Earnings
Operations Freelancer Earnings

Q3 2011 Hiring and Working Stats

Online workers reside in over 156 countries
Clients located in over 153 countries
Average Number of Proposals per Job: 8.3
Number of Freelancer Profile Searches: 1.4 million
Number of Job Proposals Submitted: 1.2 million
Number of Workroom Messages and File Uploads: 3.6 million
Number of Work Samples in Freelancer Portfolios: 1.8 million
Average Feedback Rating by Elance Clients:


Total Earnings Breakdown by Category

Total Earnings Breakdown


Focus on Elancers

Matthew S.

Focus on Elancer Client
Founder of London-based online office management software TurbineHQ, my third startup

Elancer Since:
January 2009

It’s really expensive to run a business, hire people and put them in an office in London. With Elance, I can fish in a global pool and have access to better talent but without the overhead. I have programmers, testers and graphic designers from all over the world, but I work from home and manage them using Elance. I like to think of myself as a one-man multinational.

Fast Fact:
I estimate that building a Turbine-like product would have cost 1 to 1.5 million pounds back in 2000. Turbine launched for less than £50,000…it simply wouldn’t be possible without Elance.

Ekaterina A.

Focus on Elancer Freelancer
Graphic and Web Designer in Bulgaria

Elancer Since:
December 2000

I have completed over 500 jobs on Elance and get the opportunity to work with people all over the world. I am honored that 99% of Elance reviewers would recommend me to other clients.

Fast Fact:
The work via Elance is a great opportunity for me to challenge myself with interesting projects. I can choose the work I'd like to do as well as the clients I'd like to work with. This is the best advantage for me in the freelance style of work and Elance gives me the chance to explore it every day!


Geography Hot Spots

Top Countries

Ranked by Freelancer Earnings

Top Hiring European Countries

Rank Country
1. United Kingdom
2. Germany
3. Switzerland
4. Netherlands
5. Spain
6. Ireland
7. Denmark
8. France
9. Sweden
10. Italy
11. Belgium
12. Russia
13. Austria
14. Norway
15. Lithuania
16. Romania
17. Greece
18. Croatia
19. Finland
20. Hungary

Top Earning European Countries

Rank Country
1. Ukraine
2. Russia
3. Romania
4. United Kingdom
5. Serbia
6. Germany
7. Spain
8. Bulgaria
9. Italy
10. Hungary
11. Poland
12. France
13. Ireland
14. Belarus
15. Sweden
16. Netherlands
17. Turkey
18. Greece
19. Portugal
20. Switzerland

Top Overall Skills in Demand