The Profits Have Spoken: Five Online Work Predictions For 2013

After meticulously poring over a year’s worth of impressive freelancer profit figures (and other industry statistics and trends – from the skyrocketing rise of companies posting jobs online to the public policy advocated by President Obama), Elance has pulled out its crystal ball.2103 Elance Predictions

What follows are five highly-educated predictions for the year 2013.

1. “Services” hiring will double online in 2013.

Although technology jobs continue to surge, the single-largest percent increase will be in the service industries – as the traditional “creative agency” model moves to online workers. We first got wind of this as the demand for creative talent skyrocketed 58% from last year. Ditto for other service jobs, such as legal (up 176%) and accounting (up 88%).

2. 1 in 4 university students will work online in 2013.

Freelancing is the new normal for students as they discover how online jobs are more lucrative and rewarding than flipping burgers. While building experience, many continue freelancing after graduation as they earn a stable living while traveling and enjoying life. The Elance Freelance Talent Report shows that millennial freelancers on the site jumped from 26% to 47% in the past year.

3. The number of full-time employees who quit and turn to freelance will triple in 2013.

Lack of healthcare is a concern for freelancers. If ObamaCare happens, more U.S. workers will grab their affordable healthcare and run-not-walk to full-time freelance work. ObamaCare will also be a boon for companies, as they reduce the burden of rising healthcare costs for employees.

4. Unemployment figures will be overstated by 5% in 2013.

The economy isn’t as bad as it appears. Those unemployed (and underemployed) are increasingly going online to earn money – and many of those jobs won’t be reported in 2013 employment figures. This new online work will be fueled by the business world’s growing trend to hire “on demand” (this “on demand” trend is echoed in the consumer world too, exemplified by ZipCar and Airbnb).

5. Companies of all sizes will hire twice as many online workers in 2013.

With cost savings, faster time-to-hire, access to top talent not locally available, and a better product delivered, 85% of small business report in the Elance Global Business Survey that hiring online offers a competitive advantage. In 2013 enterprise companies will increasingly realize these benefits, and in turn they’ll hire more and more virtual teams as an extension of their onsite staff.

Not a bad outlook for the year ahead, eh? In the words of Elance CEO Fabio Rosati, “When you pair the online freelance category’s fundamentals with recent trends on Elance, it’s clear that online work is primed for explosive growth in 2013.”

If you’re an Elancer, it’s a pretty picture. And if you want an even prettier picture (literally), view this eye-catching infographic we created, outlining even more details of these “prophesies.” So get ready to turn your calendar to 2013 and enjoy a fantastic year.  And yes, if you go by the Elance Calendar as most of us do, you’ll notice that 2013 is officially the “Year of the Freelancer.”

Vote For Elance (Thru Friday). It’s Like Voting For Yourself In The SMB Innovator Awards!

We’re tickled-pink to be selected as a finalist for the prestigious 2012 SMB Innovator Award. But to earn the esteemed honor (and to also win the accompanying “People’s Choice Award”), we need your support.SMB Innovator Award

Vote for Elance daily and confirm what all Elancers already know – together we’re leading the way in today’s workforce revolution, allowing small businesses and freelancers alike to work differently and achieve things never before possible.

In a nutshell, voting for Elance is a vote for yourself – as you’re the reason we’re able to make this sort of innovation possible. Without you the vision would be empty, so thank you.

The SMB Innovation Award is presented by Phonebooth, a division of Bandwidth. The award recognizes “game-changing” companies now making a difference in the small business space. After reviewing thousands of potential candidates the Top 10 Finalists were selected by a distinguished panel, representing experts from government, media and the small business community. It really is an honor to be included.

Along with the Award (if we’re fortunate enough to win) comes generous cash prizes ranging from $2,500 (for the People’s Choice Award) to $20,000 (the overall SMB Innovator Award – determined by a combination of your votes and the panel’s recommendations). If we win, we’ll be investing the prize money in worthy events to reward Elancers such as yourself for supporting us. Details to follow, should the win present itself.

So thanks in advance for your participation in the voting process. Remember, the balloting only runs through Friday, December 14, so be sure to cast your vote early and often (yes, you can vote daily).

Help Celebrate Our Two Millionth Freelancer With Free Training at

Thanks a million. Thanks two million actually, and counting. That’s the number of registered freelancers we’ve now reached here at Elance. Woo-hoo, two million!

Two million is a historic milestone we couldn’t have achieved without your support and the support of our entire community. To thank you we’ve arranged for a celebratory gift: Free online skills training at for all registered Elancers. It’s our small way of giving back, by helping you further reach your career goals.

If you’re unfamiliar, Lynda is the shining star of video training with 1500+ courses and 84,000+ tutorials. You’re sure to find some awesome materials to help you brush up on current skills or explore new areas. Lynda has tutorials on every skill from web design and development (like PHP and HTML 5) to audio/video, graphic design, accounting and photography.

Over 40% Online Job Growth in Q3 (Not A Typo).

With the way spin doctors can bend statistics these days, we’re all getting a little numb to facts & figures. But when Elance’s Q3 Global Online Employment Report came out this week, our jaws literally dropped. More than a few coffee cups were dropped too.

Fact is, the online work sector is now growing at a mind-boggling clip. The bottom line is that Elance saw tremendous growth on both the freelancer and client side in Q3 2012. Specifically we saw a 41% growth in new jobs posted by businesses (over 213,000), and 42% growth in freelancer earnings (topping nearly $50 million).

The numbers were particularly astonishing in U.S. cities where unemployment rates are above 10% (the national average is hovering around 8%). This can be attributed to workers looking to escape the restraints of local economies. For living proof, see Detroit, Michigan which saw a whopping 745% increase in freelancer earnings over Q2. There was similarly huge freelancer earning growth across the rest of the country too. And ditto for areas of Europe with economic challenges, where freelancers in Greece saw 167% growth, Portugal 101% and Spain 48%.

Elancers Soar Like Warriors, Raise $2,200 for Charity.

If there’s one word to describe the Elance team, it’s “competitive.”

We’re constantly competing hard to find great new ways to make our platform even more awesome. We’re always competing to find and hire top people to come work at Elance. Heck, we’re even competing with each other to grab that last parmesan bagel from Elance’s daily breakfast bar.

Hence it’s no wonder many on the Elance team carried that competitive spirit over to the weekend, where a few days back several Elancers competed in the Warrior Dash 5K race in Hollister, California. It’s a mud-crawling, fire-leaping, obstacle-climbing extreme “run from hell.” It’s also a great cause, with money being raised to help St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Show Your Mettle. Join Our New Titanium Certified Developers Group.

If you’re a programmer with an iron-grip on the latest development skills, you’ll love being part of our Titanium Certified Developers Group. It’s the new gold standard for businesses looking to hire online freelancers to help build cool apps on the popular Appcelerator Titanium Platform.

Officially-sponsored by Appcelerator, join the group to catch the eye of companies who are going places (and hiring as we speak … uh, blog). It’s also where businesses should go to pinpoint great workers with nerves of steel and Titanium expertise.

As background information for anyone not up-to-speed, Appcelerator's platform leverages over 5,000 mobile device and operating system APIs – allowing teams to create native iOS and Android apps (and HTML5 mobile web apps). Businesses who use the Titanium Platform report getting to market a whopping 70% faster. Titanium is also open source, making it easy to integrate data, content and services from a variety of sources into mobile applications.

Another Scary-Good Elance Halloween Party.

As expected, Elance’s annual Spooktacular Costume Contest was a frightfully fun time. Many from our California team joined in the afternoon’s festivities, dressing up in their favorite Halloween get-ups. Costumes ranged from sports and film stars to music icons, YouTube sensations and yes, even Elance Executives (gulp). There was also a large contingent of gruesome things, domestic and wild animals, and at least one farm fresh vegetable. Some of the costumes were a little difficult to identify their exact intent, and to avoid embarrassment we’ll just leave it at that.

During the revelries help upstairs at our Mountain View headquarters, dance moves were busted, a wide variety of skits were performed, and a scary number of mini-cupcakes were consumed. And of course, each and every Elancer was left howling with laughter (particularly those garbed in dog or werewolf outfits).

Prolonged Disruption From Superstorm Sandy.

We’re just now beginning to realize the horrific damage Sandy has brought to America’s Northeast Corridor. An estimated 6 million people are still without power, as well as countless destruction to homes, businesses and infrastructure people count on in their daily lives. Our thoughts are with everyone on the East Coast as they struggle with this difficult situation.

Obviously, many members of the Elance community are affected by Superstorm Sandy. With no electricity and no internet access — and limited mobile phone service — these freelancers and businesses are unable to work.

Note to all Elance contractors on the East Coast: We have notified your clients about the disruption in communications and the work stoppage due to the storm. However, as soon as you are able, please contact clients directly to keep them updated on your current situation. If there is anything we can do to help accelerate your recovery, please let us know.

Note to all Elance clients with contractors on the East Coast: Due to the widespread blackout, expect disruption in communications with your freelancers. On behalf of those who are affected we request your patience during this difficult time. We have sent communications to those who have been potentially affected, asking them to keep you updated, but we simply can’t guarantee they have gotten our messages. If you are experiencing significant delays in your job, please contact us and we’ll help in any way possible.

Thanks to everyone for your understanding.

Fabio Rosati
CEO, Elance

Elance Rubs Elbows with Entrepreneurs in the Big Apple.

The Elance team rolled into Manhattan last week, rolling-up our sleeves to help businesses find great freelancers. It was a wonderful experience, meeting and greeting small business owners among the 13,000+ who attended the New York Business Expo & Convention. The weather was fantastic, we got to chat at length with friends old and new, and no luggage was lost in transit.

During Wednesday’s show thousands of eager entrepreneurs streamed through our booth, learning more about Elance and giving us a chance to learn more about them. We also chatted with the many attendees who joined us for an Elance-sponsored workshop, where we presented on competing with the big boys and featured an Elance client and his real-world views on today’s online workforce.

Elance Welcomes 35 South African MBA Students.

While we love meeting young “go-getters” from around the globe, it isn’t often that entrepreneurs stop by the office en masse. But such was the case Tuesday when a group of second-year MBA students from South Africa paid a visit to our Mountain View, California headquarters.

Led by Professor Albert Wöcke and Dr. Pieter Pretorius, the students are on a tour learning about the innovation that allows entrepreneurs to thrive in the Silicon Valley, Bay Area and West Coast. Naturally Elance was on the docket along with others leading the way in entrepreneurship, including Stanford, UC Berkeley, Cisco and other innovators found South of Market in San Francisco.


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