Freelancer.com, an outsourcing and crowdsourcing marketplace, today announced its 50 fastest growing online job categories for the first quarter of 2012 with the release of the Freelancer Fast 50.

CEO Matt Barrie, said the Freelancer.com Fast 50 pulls data from over 3.3 million users and 1.5 million projects creating the most comprehensive insight into online job trends.
“We have seen a huge increase in outsourcing on the whole, with businesses rethinking their strategies moving into the New Year,” Barrie said.

Over 170,000 jobs were posted in the first quarter of 2012, up from 130,000 in the previous quarter. “Projects are up over 30% compared to the previous quarter. The huge growth in outsourcing is made up of a wide range of different types of projects being completed in countries all across the globe,” Barrie said.

“In a difficult global economic climate, businesses are looking to optimize their cost base and are therefore looking to online freelancers as a profit driver. This has seen significant job growth on the Freelancer.com marketplace despite challenging broader economic conditions,” Barrie said.

● Outsourcing surges with a rise in business process outsourcing: Outsourcing of backoffice and non-core functionality has seen a dramatic rise in the last quarter with Business
Process Outsourcing (BPO) showing the highest growth of any job category in Q1 of 2012.
BPO (up by 303% to 5,150 jobs) performed the strongest, with Data Processing (up 187% to 18,349 jobs) and Data Entry (up 111% to 30,837 jobs) also very strong performers for the quarter.
SMEs are also turning to online freelancers as a cost-effective means of providing around-theclock customer support. This is underlined by strong growth in Customer Support jobs (up by 89% to 1,173 jobs).

Huge increase in VA jobs as businesses focus on core activities: Virtual Assistant jobs (up by 144% to 3205 jobs) have seen a surge in this quarter. SMEs, who traditionally do office administration in-house, are outsourcing these tasks as a result of the comparatively low cost of off-shore labour. This allows them to focus on core business activities and remain competitive, which is critical for survival in a challenging economic climate.

● Mobile app development grows as smart phones show no sign of slowing: Android (up by 26% to 2,863 jobs), iPhone (up by 27% to 4,318 jobs) and iPad (up by 19% to 1,828 jobs), with “post-PC device” sales outstripping that of personal computers and a slew of new models hitting the market, the number of jobs in these areas has seen a steady increase. The demand for mobile developers has been insatiable and will continue to grow as more businesses seek to offer their products and services on these platforms.
● Open Standards will own the Web: HTML5 (up 48% to 2,160 jobs) continues its ascent as the de-facto Web 2.0 standard. The continued growth of “post-PC” devices and their support of next generation open web standards such as HTML5 has seen many businesses invest in Web 2.0 technologies such as jQuery (up 39% to 2,324 jobs). This has been to the detriment of older and proprietary technologies such as Flash (down 1% to 2,697 jobs). The continued high growth of post-PC devices, and iOS’s lack of support for Flash, has forced many companies to switch to supported open standards.
● Losers: SEO (up by 8% to 10,152 jobs) has remained comparatively stagnant. Despite a stronger recovery for SEO in late 2011, Google’s constant fight against low quality link building has had a major impact on the SEO industry – causing significant pain recently for ecommerce and blog sites by delisting major link networks.

Google’s latest revision of its Panda algorithm punishes “over optimized” sites and articles but even seems to hurt some totally legitimate sites. We noticed it here at the TechJournal and we use only straight-forward SEO practices.

FREELANCER FAST 50 (FASTEST MOVERS)

Rank Category Q1 2012 Q4 2011 Growth
1 BPO 5,150 1,278 303%
2 PDF 1,386 424 227%
3 Excel 20,303 6,761 200%
4 Data Processing 18,351 6,386 187%
5 Copy Typing 2,711 1,076 152%
6 Web Search 4,811 1,963 145%
7 Virtual Assistant 3,205 1,313 144%
8 Data Entry 30,837 14,595 111%
9 Article Submission 2,793 1,462 91%
10 Customer Support 1,173 619 89%
11 Web Scraping 2,027 1,190 70%
12 .NET 4,750 3,118 52%
13 HTML5 2,160 1,462 48%
14 Copywriting 8,030 5,682 41%
15 3D Rendering 1,263 902 40%
16 jQuery / Prototype 2,324 1,668 39%
17 Twitter 2,215 1,599 39%
18 Research 2,108 1,603 32%
19 Mobile Phone 4,608 3,514 31%
20 YouTube 1,248 954 31%
21 Visual Basic 1,345 1,039 29%
22 User Interface / IA 1,237 958 29%
23 Android 2,863 2,234 28%
24 CSS 5,579 4,389 27%
25 iPhone 4,318 3,407 27%
26 Proofreading 1,448 1,143 27%
27 eBay 1,289 1,020 26%
28 Script Install 1,608 1,289 25%
29 Ghostwriting 4,073 3,267 25%
30 Academic Writing 4,220 3,408 24%
31 3D Modelling 1,186 962 23%
32 WordPress 6,366 5,233 22%
33 Editing 1,012 838 21%
34 PSD to HTML 1,524 1,274 20%
35 iPad 1,828 1,538 19%36 Facebook 1,675 1,535 9%
37 Video Services 7,542 6,914 9%
38 Bulk Marketing 1,382 1,271 9%
39 SEO 2,335 2,158 8%
40 Website Design 10,152 9,389 8%
41 Link Building 22,962 21,370 7%
42 Java 7,138 6,696 7%
43 Magento 2,406 2,261 6%
44 C++ Programming 1,724 1,624 6%
45 Social Networking 2,078 1,973 5%
46 Translation 5,252 4,989 5%
47 Shopping Carts 1,691 1,649 3%
48 Leads 2,373 2,322 2%
49 Flash 2,697 2,733 -1%
50 Telemarketing 999 1,068 -6%

This data was extracted from 172,936 jobs posted on Freelancer.com in Q1 2012. The
Freelancer.com Freelancer Fast 50 is the leading gauge of online hiring trends.

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