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Elance Predicts 2013 Will Be the Year of the Freelancer

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA--(Marketwire - Dec 13, 2012) - Elance, the world's leading platform for online work, today released its 2013 Online Work Predictions, forecasting the hotspots and key drivers of online work, a category which is expected to more than double in 2013.

"The staffing industry is ripe for disruption and the fundamental drivers of online work's growth -- instant access to high quality talent, speed of hiring and cost savings -- align with business needs of all sizes," said Fabio Rosati, CEO of Elance. "When you pair the category's fundamentals with recent trends on Elance, it's clear that online work is primed for explosive growth in 2013."

Elance's predictions for online work in 2013 are:

1. Transformation of the Services Economy: Service hiring will double online in 2013

Online work is transforming the services sector as companies are circumventing the traditional agency model to hire world-class talent directly. The transformation started in 2012 with demand for creative talent skyrocketing 58% over the past year. Additionally, legal (176% year-over-year growth) and accounting services (88% year-over-year growth) continued to accelerate in 2012.

2. Students Emerge as Solopreneurs: 1 in 4 university students will work online in 2013

Freelancing is the new normal for students as they discover that online jobs are both more lucrative and more rewarding than what's available on campus. While building their future, many are choosing to continue freelancing after graduation day so they can travel and explore other opportunities while earning a stable living. There has already been a shift on Elance; the Elance Freelance Talent Report revealed the number of millennial freelancers on the site jumped from 26% to 47% in the past year.

3. ObamaCare Opens the Door for Career Flexibility: The number of full-time employees that quit corporate jobs to work online will triple in 2013

Lack of healthcare is a top concern for freelancers and, if affordable healthcare becomes reality, more U.S. workers will turn to freelance work full-time to gain independence from the corporate world. According to the Elance Global Business Survey, 40% of respondents held a full-time job and did online work on the side when they first started freelancing, providing a clear path to full time freelancing. ObamaCare is also a boon for companies, as businesses realize the benefits of hiring online professionals to reduce the burden of rising healthcare costs for employees.

4. Fractional Employment is the Next Big Thing: Unemployment will be overstated by 5% in 2013

The trend of consuming what you need on demand, exemplified by popular services such as Airbnb and Zipcar, has now shifted to employment, as small businesses are able to hire teams online and use them fractionally on an as-needed basis. The availability of top talent online enables smaller companies to compete against larger businesses by hiring on-demand. The rise in fractional employment has another positive: The economy isn't as bad as it appears. The unemployed and underemployed are going online to earn extra money, and these jobs aren't reported in the employment figures today.

5. Online Work is the New Secret Weapon for Businesses: Companies of all sizes will hire twice as many online workers in 2013

As small businesses on Elance have discovered, hiring online results in cost savings, faster time-to-hire and access to top talent that is not locally available. Eighty-five percent of small business respondents from the Elance Global Business Survey predicted that hiring online provides them with a competitive advantage. While this trend has already been embraced by entrepreneurs and small businesses, online hiring will become a vital business strategy for enterprise companies as they hire virtual teams as an extension of their onsite employees.

To view the infographic outlining more details of these trends, please visit www.elance.com/q/2013-predictions.

About Elance

Elance, the world's leading platform for online employment, helps businesses hire and manage in the cloud.

For businesses looking to staff-up a team on an hourly or project basis, Elance offers instant access to talent and the ability to build and manage entire teams online. For independent professionals who want to work online, Elance offers access to qualified clients, a virtual workplace and guaranteed pay for great work.

The company is privately held and headquartered in Mountain View, California and Oslo, Norway. For more information, visit Elance at www.elance.com.