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Europe’s debt crisis has weakened countries across the region but contractors may escape the frail state of their national economies by working online, a report finds. Elance, a platform for online employment which connects contractors working online with companies, found that both temporary and permanent employment prove fruitful in European countries where the economy is strained. Looking for work online allows contractors there to “flee” their local economies, the company reported in it its Global Online Employment Report.
“A number of countries in Europe have weak economies and the workers in these countries are seeking work online. It’s a great solution – temporary or permanent,” said Kjetil Olsen, who is Vice President at Elance Europe. Hence Elance contractors in troubled economies such as Greece and Spain, have experienced large growth in earnings, which have increased by +122% and +142% respectively over the past year alone.
The report also highlighted that for the first quarter of 2012, a record number of 193,000 new jobs were posted on its website, and overall Elance contractor earnings reached US$43 million, compared to around US$30 million a year ago. Creative jobs have increased and account for 42% of total jobs posted on Elance while Graphic design jobs are the second most demanded skill. But IT continues to dominate the market as it has remained the top category in the first quarter.
The top ten hiring countries in Europe during Q1 2012 were the UK, Netherlands and Germany.
Elance is a privately held company with offices in Mountain View, California and Oslo, Norway. The online employment industry is a US$1 billion industry comprised of companies with online platforms for hiring contractors.
The full report can be downloaded here.