More than 170,000 jobs were posted on Freelancer.com in the first quarter of 2012, up from 130,000 in the previous quarter, according to the Freelancer Fast 50 – the company’s quarterly report on the 50 fastest growing online job categories.
“Projects are up over 30 percent compared to the previous quarter,” says CEO Matt Barrie. “The huge growth in outsourcing is made up of a wide range of different types of projects being completed in countries all across the globe.”
The following online freelance employment trends for Q1 2012 were identified in the report:
• Mobile app development grows: Android jobs rose 26 percent to
2,863 while iPhone jobs rose 27 percent to 4,318. The iPad category was
up 19 percent to 1,828 jobs as “post-PC device” sales outstripped that
of personal computers. The demand for mobile developers has been
insatiable and will continue to grow as more businesses seek to offer
their products and services on these platforms.
• Open standards will own the Web: HTML5 jobs rose 48 percent
to 2,160 while jQuery jobs rose 39 percent to 2,324. This has been to
the detriment of older and proprietary technologies such as Flash (down 1
percent to 2,697 jobs). The continued high growth of post-PC devices
and iOS’ lack of support for Flash has forced many companies to switch
to supported open standards.
• Overall outsourcing surges: Outsourcing of back-office and non-core functionality has seen a dramatic rise in the last quarter with business process outsourcing (BPO) showing the highest growth of any job category. BPO, up 303 percent to 5,150 jobs, performed the strongest, with data processing (up 187 percent to 18,349 jobs) and data entry (up 111 percent to 30,837 jobs) also solid performers. Businesses are also turning to online freelancers as a cost-effective means of providing around-the-clock customer support, as customer support jobs rose 89 percent to 1,173 jobs.
• Big increase in virtual assistant (VA) jobs: The VA category was up 144 percent to 3,205 jobs as many businesses that traditionally do office administration in-house are outsourcing these tasks as a result of the comparatively low cost of off-shore labor.
• Search remains stagnant: SEO jobs were “only” up 8 percent to 10,152 as the category remained comparatively stagnant. Despite a stronger recovery for SEO in late 2011, Google’s constant fight against low-quality link building has had a major impact on the SEO industry.
The report’s data was extracted from 172,936 jobs posted on Freelancer.com in Q1 2012.