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Demand for Web Workers Continues to Rise

Posted on 2.06.2011

Online employment platform Elance has released its quarterly report, revealing record-setting hiring by small businesses in the fourth quarter of 2010. Increased hiring across all categories during what is traditionally a slow quarter further indicates that innovation and growth in the online employment marketplace will continue to rise throughout 2011.

The report also reveals that hybrid organization will be a growing trend in 2011, with companies adopting staffing models that include both onsite and online workers. Elance employers are posting more than 40,000 new jobs each month, and online workers have earned over $340 million on the platform. The surge in hiring aligns with recent findings by the Aberdeen Group that show contingent workers are expected to rise to 25 percent of the workforce in 2011, as employers and individuals seek greater flexibility in an increasingly dynamic marketplace.

Other notable hiring trends include the following:

IT is King
Signs of increased optimism about 2011 are seen at the end of 2010 as online employment shows record growth during a time typically associated with seasonal slowdown. Businesses posted more than 105,000 jobs in Q4 2010, showing an impressive 38-percent increase over the same quarter last year.  Spend grew 11 percent quarter-over-quarter and 44 percent over the same quarter last year as online workers earned more than $27 million in Q4. Creative, marketing and operations sectors all experienced substantial growth. The king of Q4, however, was IT as spend on technology-related work outpaced other categories.

Mobile Continues to Fly; Android on Top
Demand for experts in mobile technologies continues to grow at an impressive pace with demand for iPad programmers growing 15 percent quarter-over-quarter, and iPhone programmers growing 10 percent. However, Android developers experienced even higher growth in Q4 thanks to a 20-percent rise in demand quarter-over-quarter. Demand for iOS and Android programmers is unlikely to slow down anytime soon, as Verizon and other carriers start selling Apple products, and a flurry of new Android devices announced at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show hit the market.

WordPress: The Undisputed Champ of Content
WordPress appears to have moved from top contender among open-source platforms for online content such as Drupal and Joomla! to the top choice. Over the course of 2010, demand for WordPress experts rose an impressive 15 percent quarter-over-quarter, moving up three highly coveted spots to No. 2, trailing only behind PHP programmers. This marks the first time that any content management system has moved into the top three skills in demand by businesses, solidifying it as the undisputed champ of content, for now.

Online Marketing: The Fastest Growing Segment
Demand for online marketing contractors and consultants is accelerating and is up 74 percent year-over-year, indicating that businesses are making heavy investments in online branding, media and customer acquisition strategies like social media marketing, affiliate marketing and search engine marketing, In Q4, social media marketing saw 20-percent growth and moved to No. 26 on the top 100 skills list, as more marketing dollars are being deployed across social platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Facebook: Growing Demand, Getting Hotter
The demand for Facebook programmers grew 23 percent in Q4, moving up 11 positions on the top 100 skills list. Facebook experts are increasingly sought after as more businesses seek Facebook App development, Fan Page creation and Facebook Connect integrations.

HTML5 Explodes, Flash Holds Steady
With a huge 48-percent growth quarter-over-quarter, demand for HTML5 programmers continues to skyrocket as businesses look to not only revamp existing websites, but also create a presence on increasingly popular tablet and mobile devices. On the other hand, despite showing no significant growth in Q4, Flash continues to hold steady as a sought-after skill, indicating that businesses are not dropping the proprietary technology anytime soon.

Texas: The New Online Employment Hot Spot
In Q4 2010, Texas had more cities in the top 10 for online employment than any other state, and tied California for the most cities in the top 30. Dallas maintained its position at No. 4, Amarillo, a hot spot for writing talent, moved up a spot to No. 7, and Austin jumped up eight spots to No. 9. Other Q4 shakeups include Los Angeles moving up to the No. 2 position, Portland, Oregon moving up to No. 3, and San Francisco moving down to No. 5, while New York remains the No. 1 city based on contractor earnings.

Visit Elance to view the full Online Employment Report.


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