Online work saw record-breaking growth in the past year, with earnings and job opportunities far outpacing the traditional employment economy around the world, according to a new report.
The research by online employment website Elance revealed that during the second quarter of this year, the number of businesses hiring on the site jumped 35 percent over the same period a year ago. Leading the growth are positions in the creative category, with more than 80,000 new jobs posted between April and June, up 60 percent from last year.
Specifically, demand for creative skills such as Web design, voice acting and content writing saw significant gains from 2011.
"The ease of working online – coupled with the ability to instantly connect with a highly specialized global talent pool – is driving massive adoption of online work," said Fabio Rosati, CEO of Elance. "For the first time, demand for technical talent is being matched by equally strong demand for creative talent."
The popularity of online jobs is spreading across the country. Overall, earnings grew in 41 out of 50 states, with Hawaii, North Carolina and Tennessee showing some of the biggest jumps.
Many small towns are seeing the benefits of online jobs as well. Cities like Littleton, N.H., Southfield, Mich., and Littleton, Colo., all saw online jobs grow by triple digits from the last quarter.
While technology remains the top-earning category for online jobs, the report shows more professionals in traditional careers are leaving the cubicle lifestyle for the freedom of online employment. Professionals like manufacturing designers, architects and family attorneys are joining the online work community faster than ever, with triple-digit increases compared to this time last year.
The growth of online jobs hasn't been restricted to the United States. London was the top-earning city in Europe, with hiring up 25 percent from the first quarter of the year.
Other countries seeing large increases of online jobs in the past year include Italy, Greece, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Brazil, Chile and Columbia.