Online Independent Contractors Still Winning in Employment Restructuring

Summer is traditionally associated with vacations and downtime, but the June 2011 “Online Employment Report” from leading online employment platform oDesk states that workers around the world were busier than ever. In fact, 1.25 million online contractors are working nearly twice the number of hours than they did last June.

Employers worldwide are offering more opportunities for remote, online contractors—and nearly 300 new full-time workers join the online workforce every week. As a result, more money is being earned online than ever before. Employers spent $18 million on online contractors in June alone, a 93% jump over the same time last year.

“Many of today’s most innovative businesses are taking advantage of the borderless economy and hiring those workers with the best skills, regardless of their location,” said Gary Swart, oDesk CEO. “More and more, we’re seeing that work is not a place, and that the influence of the international workforce is far greater than the sum of its parts. The money being spent on online work crosses borders, it creates opportunities, and it generates employment for workers both in the U.S. and abroad.”

Twenty-four percent of the money spent on online work last month went to contractors in India, which also is home to the largest population of online workers. Philippines-based workers brought in 16 percent of the total earnings, followed closely by the United States at 14 percent. China has proven to be the biggest up-and-comer, gaining one percent of the total money earned online this month and surpassing Canada to earn eighth place.

Web programming is the most popular type of online work for all top ten countries, with the exception of the Philippines. In India, Russia, Poland, and the Ukraine, 38 percent or more workers specialize in Web programming. Similarly, mobile application development work is also popular in Russia, India, the Ukraine, and Pakistan. Besides programming, common technical specialties for online workers include software development, web design and desktop application design.

The Philippines is the only top-ten country with more data entry and SEO workers than web programmers. Blog and article writing are also popular in the Philippines, as well as in the U.S. and Canada, a trend reflecting the fact that English is widely taught in public schools there. Other leading sources of non-technical work include search engine optimization SEO, virtual assisting, and web research roles.

Across all countries, the field of online work is growing rapidly. Online contractors worked a total of 1.7 million hours in June and 86,443 new job opportunities were posted during the month, up 67 percent from last year.
For more information on the current trends in online work, please visit the oDesk June Online Employment Report.