Market Trends

Elance Job Report Shows Upswing In “Creative Economy”

We have great news for “right brain” thinkers everywhere. While job demand rose to record levels in many areas – including most technical fields – our Q2 Global Online Employment Report also points to a dramatic rise in demand for creative skills. For the first time ever the “Creative Economy” is outpacing demand for technical talent. These findings show that companies are now looking for new way to attract and engage customers.

The chart below shows the percentage of jobs posted by category, indicating Creative took the lead in Q2:



Small Business Economy 2011: Small Firms Create More Jobs

According to the Small Business Economy 2011 report released yesterday, small businesses outperformed large firms in net job creation nearly three out of four times over an 18-year span.

The Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), a voice for small businesses within the federal government, said that quarter by quarter, small businesses with fewer than 500 workers outperformed large firms (500+ workers) in making new jobs.

Since 1982, the Office of Advocacy has produced an annual report collecting information about national small business contributions to the economy and trends that have resulted.

Additionally, this year's report showed that the number of "employer firms" has fluctuated from just under 5 million to just over 6 million firms over the past 25 years, while the larger number of firms without employees has increased steadily, from about 14 million in 1992 to nearly 22 million in 2010.

To see the full report, including detailed tables on all of the data collection, visit the SBA website release here.

 

Study: Nearly Half of American Adults Own Smartphones

On the final day of the annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Washington D.C.-based think tank Pew Research Center released a report showing that there are more American adults who own smartphones than "basic" phones. While the overall percentage of smartphone owners hasn't quite reached the majority of the American population, this is the first time that smartphone owners have edged ahead of their counterparts.

According to Pew, nearly half (46%) of American adults are smartphone owners as of February 2012, an increase of 11 percentage points over the 35% of Americans who owned a smartphone last May. On the other hand, two in five adults (41%) own a cell phone that is not a smartphone.




The movement towards complete smartphone adoption comes off the heels of the largest Mobile World Congress, the world's largest exhibition for the mobile industry—featuring CEOs representing mobile device manufacturers and vendors from around the world, and of course Google's recent declaration that they're activating 850,000 Android devices a day. What an exciting time to be a mobile developer!

Gallup: Small Business Hiring and Spend Intentions High

The results of two recent polls conducted by the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index earlier this year show that small businesses feel more strongly about their growth prospects now than they have in years, and plan to increase both the number of jobs hired and the amount spent on capital over the next 12 months.

According to Gallup poll results published earlier this month, more U.S. small business owners expect to increase rather than decrease the total number of jobs at their company over the next 12 months. The 14-percentage-point advantage for expected job growth is the largest since the +15 of January 2008, suggesting small business owners are more optimistic about hiring now than at any time in the past four years.

 





comScore: 2012 Mobile Future in Focus

Today market analytics group comScore released their 2012 Mobile Future in Focus report, an annual publication that examines the mobile landscape, covering key trends driving smartphone adoption growth and mobile media usage in social networking and retail, mobile ecosystem dynamics, and media consumption. Last year, we saw a 137% growth in mobile projects on Elance, and with the current trend trajectory, there's every reason to believe jobs and talent for mobile project will grow in demand.

Here are some of the key findings according to comScore's report:


  • Nearly 42 percent of all U.S. mobile subscribers now use smartphones, along with 44.0 percent of mobile users across the "EU5" (comprised of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK). Mobile media use – defined as browsing the mobile web, accessing applications, or downloading content – saw increased growth supported by the proliferation of high-speed networks and increased Wi-Fi availability.

  • Google Android and Apple iOS smartphone platforms emerged as the leaders of the U.S. smartphone market in 2011, with Android just a few points shy of capturing half of the smartphone market and iOS accounting for nearly 30 percent of the market. In the EU5, Android saw similarly significant gains, unseating market leader Symbian in 3 out of the 5 European markets measured.

  • In 2011, both the U.S. and EU5 saw the growth in mobile app use exceed the growth in mobile browser use. Health ranked as the fastest-growing mobile media category in the U.S. in 2011, followed by Retail and other commerce-related categories such as Electronic Payments and Auction Sites.

  • 64.2 million U.S. smartphone users and 48.4 million EU5 smartphone users accessed social networking sites or blogs on their mobile devices at least once in December 2011, with more than half of these mobile social networking users accessing social media almost every day.

  • Tablets quickly rose in popularity in 2011, taking less than two years to account for nearly 40 million tablets in use among U.S. mobile users and outpacing smartphones which took 7 years to reach the same.

Download comScore's full report here.

Can Facebook and Elance Get You A Job? [Infographic]

As social media usage continues to grow and evolve, more and more people are turning to Facebook, Twitter, etc. in order to find work, according to a new infographic from MBA Online (below). We've got a great way to you can use your own social networks to help friends and colleagues find work, and earn rewards for yourself!

With the Elance Referral Program, sharing Elance has never been easier! When you post a job to Elance, you'll have the option to share with the friends and colleagues you have across your own social networks. Have a Facebook friend that you think is a great fit for your job? Want to share your post with all of your Twitter followers? We've got the social media buttons you need to share once your job has been posted!

If you enjoy being a part of Elance, we want you to share your experiences to the world. For every qualified client referral that you bring onto Elance, you'll earn $10. For every qualified contractor referral you bring onto Elance, you'll earn 10 Connects, and you'll also give them a gift of 10 Connects to help them get started.

For more information, please visit our Elance Referral Program page here or the official program terms here.



The True Cost of Commuting

We know that one of the very best reasons to work online is to minimize, or often eliminate, the commute to your office or jobsite. We've asked you in the past to share with us your cloud commute stories, and you responded with some incredible videos from all parts of the globe.

We wanted to share The True Cost of Commuting, a great infographic we came across from Stream Refinance on the total cost of a work commute—from mileage to cost to the amount of your life spent in your vehicle!

Some of the highlights:


  • The IRS estimates the total cost of driving an average car to be 51 cents per mile
  • In a dual-commuting household with two cars, that equates to $125,000 spent in gas alone over ten years
  • A commute of 19 miles is estimated to take about 40 minutes each way, which means 80 minutes in your vehicle each day
  • 80 minutes a day means you spend 6 hours and 40 minutes there a week—nearly an additional full work day!


Read on to see the entire inforgraphic; the numbers don't lie! So we ask you—what's the best part of your commute as an Elancer?

 

Online Employment Report: Businesses Hiring in the Cloud Defy Employment Trends

With jobs being the topic of discussion throughout Europe and the United States, President Obama has hit the road to rally support for his jobs creation bill. However, our new Online Employment Report shows that more work is already moving to the cloud across all industries.

In contrast to sluggish hiring in the traditional employment market, the number of businesses hiring online workers jumped 107% and Elancers earned 51% more in the last year, with a record $38 million earned in Q3 2011. To view the entire report, please visit the Online Employment Report here.

Some of the notable hiring trends we saw this past quarter include:

Engineers Building Momentum
Businesses need engineering expertise across nearly every discipline today and demand for engineers is growing on Elance: Chemical Engineering (+155%), Network Engineering (+45%), Civil Engineering (+36%), Electrical Engineering (+28%) and Mechanical Engineering (+13%). CAD skills also saw greater demand: AutoCAD (+32%), ArchiCAD (+60%) and Rhino CAD (+7%).

More Compliance
Demand for legal professionals, with lawyers specializing in Tax Law (+69%), International Law (+27%) and Employment Law (+13%) all saw significant increases during Q3 2011.

Customer Service Excellence
Customer service agents and virtual assistants on Elance have earned 58% more than last year in Q3.

Nielsen State of the Media: The Social Media Report

In a recently published slideshow, The Nielsen Company showed that social media's popularity continues to grow, particularly using mobile technology, which is continued good news for developers and app makers across the board, in addition to social media marketers.

Some highlights from their findings:


  • Social networks and blogs continue to dominate Americans’ time online, now accounting for nearly a quarter of total time spent on the Internet.
  • Social media has grown rapidly – today nearly 4 in 5 active Internet users visit social networks and blogs.
  • Close to 40 percent of social media users access social media content from their mobile phone.
  • Across a snapshot of 10 major global markets, social networks and blogs reach over three-quarters of active Internet users.
  • U.S. internet users spend more time on Facebook than any other web brand (Blogger, Tumblr, Twitter, LinkedIn).


To view the full slideshow, including figures on social media demographic breakdowns, please visit Nielsen's site here.

Looking to improve social media marketing for your business or personal brand? Find a social media marketing professional on Elance!

 

Infographic: How Small Businesses Use and Lose Time

If you own your own business, you surely know how difficult it can be to find enough time in the work day. Earlier this week, Intuit posted an interesting infographic on information they've compiled on small business owners, their work habits, and the ways they're trying to increase productivity with their limited hours. Some highlights:


  • The top goal for small business owners in the upcoming year is to use their time more efficiently.
  • In August 2011, small business hourly employees worked an average of 108 hours, roughly a 25-hour work week.
  • Alternatively, 46% of small business owners report working more than 40 hours a week.
  • 50% of small businesses revaled that knowledge workers spend about half of their day on necessary but unproductive tasks. Perhaps they could hire a Virtual Assistant? 

    • 36% spent forwarding emails and doing follow-up, dealing with spam and unsolicited calls
    • 14% spent contacting people and finding information

  • Bnet.com lists Elance as one of 12 tools that can help small business save time and money.

To view the full infographic, please visit Intuit here.

We've discussed how Elance can help small businesses, from the point when an entrepreneur takes an idea to execution to helping existing businesses save money and increase resources. For small business owners looking to make the most of their time and resources, here are some hand-picked pieces of advice from the Elance Blog:

 

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