Online Jobs, Freelance Earnings Continue to Grow

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Demand for Web contractors grew 32 percent in the first quarter of 2011, according to Elance’s most recent report. More than 135,000 jobs were posted with the online employment platform, and earnings grew 12 percent from the previous quarter.

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 a total of over $360 million on the platform.

Notable hiring trends of the first quarter of 2011 include the following:

Help (Definitely) Wanted
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. New York tops the list of hiring cities, followed by Los Angeles, San Francisco and Brooklyn.

Show Me the Money
Leading the list of the Top 50 earning cities on Elance are New York, Austin, Texas and Los Angeles. Demonstrating that high earnings are not limited to urban metropolises, the Top 50 earning cities also included Plant City, Florida (No. 30), Chaska, Minnesota (No. 35) and Littleton, Colorado (No. 50).

What Unemployment Rate?
Nevada, with currently the highest unemployment rate in the U.S., saw online earnings grow 16 percent in the first quarter. California, with the second highest unemployment rate, grew 12 percent in online earnings. Oklahoma and Maine grew a whopping 118 percent and 65 percent, respectively, while Illinois grew an impressive 48 percent.

Most Creative City
Amarillo, Texas has retained its number one position for contractor earnings in the creative category on Elance. Austin, Texas jumped 10 spots in contractor earnings for IT skills in Q1 of 2011. San Jose, California leapfrogged three traditionally strong operations cities in Texas to become the Most Organized City, and New York City holds the No. 1 spot in Marketing.

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