All Things oDesk
February 2, 2011 by Erica Benton

“Workers in small towns need access to jobs, and the Internet can put them in consideration for job opportunities on a global scale,” said Gary Swart, oDesk CEO. “Online jobs are giving workers a viable way to find employment, enhance their skills and build their own businesses — beyond their local economy.”

Small Towns Big Winners in Online Work

According to this month’s Online Employment Report, small towns are outperforming their big-city counterparts in online work activity and number of hours worked per contractor. Towns with populations less than 15,000 are going toe-to-toe with large cities–and winning.

When looking at the number of online workers per capita, small communities are meeting or beating nearly every major U.S. city – with San Francisco being the notable exception – and have proportionally higher “actively working” online populations.

In comparing the hours worked per online contractor, small towns like Kanab (UT), Wagoner (OK), and Newalla (OK) surpass New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles:

US city comparison

Online Hiring Hits Record High

Overall, demand for online work reached an all-time high in January, maintaining over 90% growth year-over-year and outstripping the slow hiring growth in local jobs.

Other key findings from the January Online Employment Report:

  • 2011 Starts Strong for Online Hiring
    • A record 71,000 online job opportunities posted
    • More than $13M spent on online work in January alone
  • Voice Talent and Presentations break into the Top 50 Categories
    • Businesses hiring creative talent

What do you think – are small towns the next big thing for online work?


Erica Benton

Social Media Guru

Erica Benton joined oDesk in 2009, bringing with her nearly a decade of small business and freelance experience, and a love of all things social. Her passion for startups, technology and marketing was born during her tenure with Kulesa Faul Public Relations, while she learned the art of entrepreneurship firsthand through Equine Alternatives, a business she founded while earning her Bachelor of Science degree from… read more