- The freelance economy enjoyed a stronger start to the year, as compared to Q1 2019, Freelancer.com's May 14 quarterly report showed. The job site saw a 21% year-over-year increase in job postings, with the total rising from 410,000 to 497,000.
- The platform observed a shift in requested skill sets between Q4 2019 and Q1 2020. "Whereas in the latest reports we saw a surge in the need primarily for online content, there has been a growing demand in Q1 2020 for other skilled labor such as programming skills, coding, web development, social media development and online marketing, mobile application design, legal-related jobs and home-related skill," Freelancer.com CEO and Chairman Matt Barrie said.
- The shift in skill preference may be due to companies' reassessment of skill utilization or year-end reviews of business practices, the report said. The increased interest in legal writing and advice specifically is thanks to companies' need to ensure compliance with laws and regulations "related to human resources, consulting agreements, and changing government regulations," the report concluded.
These findings mark somewhat of a turn in organizations' use of freelancers. A February 2020 report from the Business Talent Group found that project management was the most in-demand skill among independent workers. Rounding out the top five skills were market analysis, process optimization and transformation, advanced analytics and change management.
Freelancer.com also rounded up the five most popular skills, with coding in the lead, followed by building architecture, legal, home design and YouTube. The demand for management fell 30% between Q4 2019 and Q1 2020.
Regardless of the change in skills requested, the report's conclusion that use of freelancers remains high may come as good news to gig workers, and to others, as well. Half of respondents in staffing firm Rose International's February survey said contingent work opens the door for those looking to re-enter the workforce. Given the stark condition of the current employment market, it follows that a strong gig economy could benefit those looking for work.