Those following the U.S. jobs reports closely are experiencing whiplash after the March numbers were released last Friday. Following February’s positive report, March results showed the lowest rate of labor force participation (63.3%) since 1979 — turning optimism into depression. According to the March report, almost half a million people simply dropped out of the workforce. What’s happening? We decided to look at our job listings and identify skills that could represent opportunity for frustrated job seekers.
A nationwide blackout in India recently left some 600 million people without electricity. Given that a large number of oDesk contractors are from India—it is the second-most active country by hours worked—oDesk Staff Economist John Horton set out to see if the effects of the blackout could be seen in our data. Here is his analysis.
Online work provides a huge opportunity for people to grow their careers. After 36 months on oDesk, contractors earn an average of 190% more than they earned during their first month on the platform. The growth curve is dramatic: oDesk contractors increase their earnings by an average of 60% during the first year alone. In addition to tenure on oDesk, we looked at two significant factors that accelerate earnings growth for contractors on the platform: education and prior (non-oDesk) work experience.
The oConomy is a stream of new, data-based insights into the way the world is working. The data driving the oConomy is data we collect as part of running the world’s largest online workplace. Each day, we record jobs posted on Desk, applicants sent, hours worked, tests taken, etc., for all participants in our market. This level of detail gives us an unprecedented, amazingly rich view into the workings of a real labor market.