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Global Survey Reveals Freelancers Driving Job Growth

57 percent of freelancers report increase in 2012 income; future looks bright with 67 percent predicting further increases in 2013

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — September 25, 2012 — Elance, the leading global platform for online employment, announced results from its annual global survey of more than 3,000 independent professionals, revealing that freelancers are thriving online. Over half (57%) reported an increase in 2012 income, claiming a 47% average increase in earnings, and two-thirds (67%) expect their income to increase in 2013, with the average freelancer expecting to earn 43% more next year.“In just a few short years, freelancing has gone from a last resort option to a lucrative and fulfilling career,” said Fabio Rosati, president and CEO of Elance. “As a ‘Business of One’, your potential is no longer constrained by where you live or the corporate hierarchy – the survey results clearly show that the online work opportunities are enormous."

Freelancer Earnings Skyrocket

The Elance survey results are in sharp contrast to reports of traditional workers earning an average 3% raise. Fifty-seven percent of freelancers reported an increase in earnings by working with businesses online. In addition, 19% said they more than doubled their freelance income in the past year. The uncertainty in the global economy is clearly not impacting online work as 42% of freelance workers stated that they are getting hired for more jobs.

2013 Freelance Outlook is Optimistic; More Freelancers Hiring Others

While the traditional job market continues to struggle worldwide, the future is optimistic for online work. The average freelancer expects to earn 43% more in 2013 than they did this year. This rise in earnings is translating into more jobs for all as 42% of independent professionals plan to hire other freelancers to build their businesses in 2013.

Survey respondents also predicted the freelance jobs that would experience the most growth in 2013:

Highest Growth Jobs for 2013

1. Web Programming

2. Mobile Apps

3. Graphic & Web Design

4. Online Marketing

5. Content Writing

Freelance Workforce Happier Than Full-time Employees

According to the Elance survey, businesses are increasingly turning to online work and hiring experts for on-demand projects. The majority of freelancers (62%) work on 2-6 projects at any given time. The survey shows that independent professionals prefer this new way of working; nearly 70% claimed they are happier and 79% stated they are more productive working as a freelancer than as a full-time employee.

Surge in Young, Educated and Online Freelancers

The Millennial workforce (born after 1981) is adopting online work faster than any other age segment. Of those surveyed, 46% of Millennials freelance full-time, and 26% have a full-time job and freelance on the side. Not surprisingly, this generation is highly educated with 77% possessing a bachelor’s degree or above and 27% have a master’s degree. Their education is definitely paying off as 59% claim a higher freelance income than last year, and 43% report an increase in the number of freelance jobs. Finally, Millennials are more optimistic about their independent career with 71% expecting their freelance income to increase and 45% planning to hire other independent professionals in 2013.

About the Survey

Elance conducted this online customer survey from August 20-27, 2012, with more than 3,000 freelance professionals participating. Click here to view the full survey results. 

About Elance

Elance, the world’s leading platform for online employment, helps businesses hire and manage in the cloud.  For businesses looking to staff-up a team on an hourly or project basis, Elance offers instant access to talent and the ability to build and manage entire teams online. For independent professionals who want to work online, Elance offers access to qualified clients, a virtual workplace and guaranteed pay for great work. The company is privately held and headquartered in Mountain View, California. For more information, visit www.elance.com.

Media Contact:

Emily Borders
Phone: (415) 963-4174 ext. 1
Email: emily@bordersgratehouse.com