Freelancers With STEM and Creative Skills Drive Record-Breaking Growth on Elance

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA -- (Marketwired) -- Aug 21, 2013 -- Elance, the leading online work platform, today released its semi-annual Global Online Employment Report revealing hiring by businesses on its platform has grown 51 percent since last year and billings of over $830 million to date. This growth is fueled by demand for highly skilled freelance talent, a market estimated to reach $5 billion by 2015. Elance also released data from an annual Global Business Survey showing both SMBs and enterprises adopting online staffing at record rates to build and manage their extended workforces.

"Demand for technical and creative freelance talent continues to accelerate on Elance," said Fabio Rosati, CEO of Elance. "The ability to hire the best available person online and on-demand is becoming an essential strategy for agile businesses of all sizes."

Businesses are Making Online Freelancers Part of Their Core Strategy
Elance's 2013 Global Business Survey outlined why more businesses are hiring talent online:

  • To Gain a Competitive Advantage -- 89 percent of businesses state that supplementing their workforce with online freelancers provides them with a distinct advantage over competitors and 87 percent of businesses state that the quality of talent they hire online is better or equal to locally available talent.
  • To Build Long-Term Relationships -- Businesses are no longer hiring online freelancers solely for one-time work; 50 percent of businesses are building teams of freelancers to engage on multiple projects.
  • To Expand Geographically -- 45 percent of businesses have used online freelancers to expand into new markets.
  • To Mitigate the Talent Gap -- 70 percent of businesses hire online freelancers to close specific skill gaps, enabling market expansion and product innovation.

Surging Demand for STEM Freelancers
More businesses are finding talent with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills on Elance, including:

  • Data Scientists and Statisticians -- Demand for data scientists and statisticians is up 200 percent.
  • Mobile and Software Application Developers -- The demand for mobile app developers increased a healthy 49 percent with continued growth in demand for iOS, Android and HTML5 skills. Demand for software application developers was up 62 percent.
  • Networking and Security Professionals -- The demand for networking and security experts saw remarkable growth on Elance with an over 300 percent increase in hiring.
  • CAD and 3D Printing Experts -- The rise of 3D printing is pushing demand for computer-aided design (CAD) experts in the U.S. The number of 3D printing related jobs on Elance was up over 200 percent while the overall demand for U.S. based CAD talent grew nearly 70 percent.

Demand for Specialized Talent Leads to Pay Increases
With more companies looking to close skill gaps, cost savings is no longer a primary driver for hiring freelancers online, dropping 45 percent in the past year. With this shift, freelancers are enjoying higher earnings. In the U.S. alone, freelancer earnings are up 69 percent over the prior year and hourly wages are ten times the national average. STEM talent saw the biggest jumps in pay increases, with average pay nearly doubling in categories such as data science, network programming and network design.

Elance Global Growth Rising in 2013
In the first half of the year, Elance experienced robust growth globally: 170,000 new businesses of all sizes joined and the total number of freelancers grew by over half a million, leading to a total of 2.8 million freelancers. With nearly $300 million in annualized billings, Elance has also expanded its European operations to accelerate growth by adding Country Managers and offices in the United Kingdom, Germany, and the Nordics (Sweden, Denmark and Norway).

Visit for more data and trends analysis via the Global Online Employment Report and the Freelance Economy Infographic.

About Elance
Elance is where people Work Differently™. A pioneer in today's freelance revolution, Elance connects the world through work.

Today over 800,000 businesses and 2.8 million freelancers use Elance in 170+ countries. Innovative global enterprises, small businesses and startups tap into the Elance talent pool, building teams from software engineers, application developers and web and graphic designers to copywriters, market researchers, data scientists, social media marketers, customer service agents and other business professionals. More than 1.2 million freelance jobs are posted through Elance annually.

Headquartered in Mountain View, California with offices in Oslo, Norway, Elance is a privately held company. For more information, visit

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