With the nation's unemployment rate continuing to languish at around 9 percent, many unemployed workers are left to wonder where the jobs are. A new report suggests they're increasingly found in the online world.
What's more, these new employment opportunities aren't limited to the high-tech sector, but are spreading across industries, says the report released last month by Elance, an online-job search website for freelancers.
Compared to sluggish hiring in the traditional employment market, Elance says, the number of businesses hiring online workers jumped 107 percent in the three months ending in September.
Among the types of jobs that showed marked increases in demand on the Elance website were chemical, civil, electrical and mechanical engineers, along with an increase in legal professionals, including attorneys specializing in tax, international and employment laws.
The report also showed that the number of new businesses posting job openings online rose 105 percent year over year, Elance says, noting that more than 52,000 new jobs were posted in September alone.
Meanwhile, a report this month on the overall employment outlook, by jobs website Monster.com, showed an increase in the number of job openings posted online, helped in part by demand for seasonal workers.
Monster said that its employment index rose to 151 points in October, up 2 percent from 148 in September. The index rose 11 percent from 136 a year ago.
Demand for workers in retail trades climbed 26.2 percent in October compared to last year, but ongoing budget cutting by state and local governments led to a 30 percent drop in the number of online job ads, compared to a year ago.
Overall, Monster said that its report showed year-over-year growth in 15 of the 20 industries that it tracks, with jobs in mining and energy production showing the greatest increase -- 44 percent.
"It does appear that businesses are proceeding with their seasonal hiring as we would expect them to be doing," Monster's senior vice president, Jesse Harriott, told Reuters.
"So despite that there are a lot of macroeconomic indicators and buzz that things are not going so well, the underlying data, at least from a labor market perspective, are suggesting it's not as bad as people think."
Check out the following map by Elance that shows states with the highest earnings among independent contractors.
Top States on Elance
Ranked by Contractor Earnings
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