Freelance Hiring and Earnings Surge in 2012, Elance Study Shows

freelance trends

GREAT NEWS for freelancers!

Elance, online work platform and resource for freelancers, announced this week that hiring and freelancer earnings set new records in 2012.

Elance’s Global Online Employment Report shows that demand for online talent surged because of the increase need for mobile development and web programming. Additionally, the need for expert talent in marketing and web content also expanded while independent professionals in locations with the highest unemployment rates experienced the strongest earnings growth.

The best news? More freelancers are raking in serious dough:

“Our results prove that our focus on connecting businesses with the highest quality talent is paying off. The number of businesses hiring on Elance increased dramatically, driving strong growth in freelancer earnings,” said Fabio Rosati, CEO of Elance. “We’re well on our way to reaching $1 billion in cumulative freelancer earnings in 2013.”

Here’s a deeper dive into jobs in demand, who’s hiring and what’s in-store for contractors in 2013:

The Tech Talent Gap

Professionals with skills in web and mobile programming saw skyrocketing demand for their technology expertise, resulting in earnings increases for experts with top skills. HTML developers had increased earnings of 149%, and PHP and CSS experts saw earnings surge by 108% and 103%, respectively. Mobile developers with Android (+146%) and iOS (+132%) skills also earned more in 2012.

Online Content and Design Needs Continue to Surge

Independent professionals continue to profit from businesses publishing more of their content online. Freelancer earnings reflect the rise in demand for these skilled services: content writing (+151%) and blog writing (+78%) made huge leaps over the past year, as well as web design (+205%) and graphic design (+165%), with the biggest increases for Photoshop (+165%) and Illustrator (+131%) experts. Marketers with online expertise, including digital marketers (+190%) and social media marketers (+132%) saw substantial increases in earnings in 2012.

Unemployed Professionals Look Beyond State Lines and Go Online for Work

In the United States, professionals took control of their employment destinies and earned more money than ever before on Elance, particularly those in hard-hit regions experiencing high unemployment. States such as Rhode Island (10.2% unemployment) had freelance earnings grow by 89% in the past year. This jump was also seen in Mississippi (8.6% unemployment) where earnings rose 67% and New Jersey (9.6% unemployment), where earnings climbed 58% in 2012. Other hard hit states such as Michigan (8.9% unemployment) and California (9.8% unemployment) saw 54% and 41% increases in earnings, respectively.

Top Countries Contributing to the Online Work Economy

Global economic powers continue to benefit by hiring online freelancers. The top 10 GDP countries increased their online hiring by an average of 67%. Notable countries setting records include China (+204%), Japan (+109%), Italy (+70%), France (+66%), Germany (+50%) and the United Kingdom (+42%).

Tech All-Stars: Earnings Bright Spots in Eastern Europe

The Eurozone unemployment rate rose to 11.8% in November, the highest rate on record, which is driving professionals in some of Europe’s highest-unemployment countries to showcase talent online, specifically in programming and IT. Countries including Poland (+118%), Bulgaria (+40%) and Ukraine (+38%) all saw significant earnings growth over the past year. The majority of earnings came from web and programming jobs, leveraging the region’s strong technical talent base.

What questions do you have about your freelancing career that aren’t here? Ask below, and I’ll help!

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