If you are a freelancer with creative skills, you are highly marketable today. And if you are in a small business needing to hire a freelancer or service provider with creative capabilities, you may find the competition for talent heating up.
That’s according to the first quarter 2012 Online Employment Report released this morning by Elance, the well-known online marketplace for finding freelance talent and outsourcing work.
Creative work now accounts for 42% of all jobs posted on Elance. Quarterly growth is 32% overall for jobs in the creative category, with Web design leading the way. Other notable creative skills in demand include content writing, graphic design and video production. This chart from the Elance Quarterly Online Employment Report shows key growth categories:
Notable factoid: demand for business card design is up 51% (who says print is dead?). Go here for a detailed look at more skills in demand.
Here are other highlights from the report:
- Overall Employment Growth Strong – The first quarter of 2012 saw a significant surge in new jobs posted on the freelancer network, and growth overall is strong. As the report notes, “The Online Employment Industry is a $1B industry…. It is in double-digit growth mode driven by global expansion and favorable workforce trends. Elance is a top player with annual spend of $173M+ on our platform.” The following chart shows the huge upsurge in new jobs posted — notice the BIG jump from the 4th quarter of 2011 to the first quarter of 2012:
- Businesses are Investing in Marketing – Demand for marketing skills grew, too. Q1 of 2012 saw these increases in demand: market research (+49%), branding (+44%) and lead generation (+39%). Social media marketing is also up.
- Audio and Visual Growth is Strong – As social media sites proliferate, demand grew for skills such as video production (+68%), editing (+56%), and audio editing (+52%). One interesting area: demand for voiceover talent grew 48%.
- It Is a Web and Mobile World – Information technology continues to the top category of freelance jobs posted on Elance, although growth in that category, while still double digit, was not as significant as the growth in demand for creative skills. Mobile app developers are hot.