Ahead of National Freelancer Day on Wednesday 21 November, online employment platform Elance has found that online hiring and earnings are outpacing traditional employment with growth rates of over 40 per cent as professionals in hard-hit areas escape their local economies by freelancing and working online.
As demand for talent in marketing writing, security and gaming is expanding worldwide, Elance figures show the number of businesses hiring is up 28 per cent with the number of freelancers registered with the service growing some 64 per cent compared with this time last year.
Freelancer earnings in European countries hardest hit by the economic downturn with double digit unemployment figures have seen up to a 298 per cent increase in freelancer earnings.
Greece, one of the countries hardest hit by the Eurozone crisis, saw total freelancer earnings exceed £66,000 on Elance in Q3 2012 in comparison to £25,136 in the same quarter of 2011.
The UK also posted strong freelancer earnings on Elance with 62 per cent growth in earning over the last three months.
In Q3 sales and marketing posts increased 40 per cent from 2011 and demand for skills such as social media marketing, marketing strategy, and lead generation increased 157 per cent, 136 per cent and 136 per cent respectively.