Upwork 100 Provides Intel for 2020 Planning

What are your competitors prioritizing as we head toward 2020? The Upwork 100 is a quarterly index that ranks the top 100 skills—skills that have grown quickly and experienced a high level of demand on Upwork in Q3 of 2019. The list:

  • Sheds light on current trends in the independent labor market and tech industry
  • Serves as a barometer of the skills businesses are looking (and competing) for
  • Indicates the most in-demand skills provided by independent professionals

The Upwork 100 balances real-time insights with consistent patterns based on real work that’s been completed. Analyzing the results, Upwork Chief Economist Adam Ozimek, PhD, highlighted the following three trends from the list:

1. U.S. workers are in demand around the world

U.S.-based freelancers work with businesses around the world. While U.S. companies lead demand, 38 percent of projects for the Top 100 skills are being hired by non-U.S. companies such as Canada, United Kingdom (UK), Australia, India, Israel, Germany, Singapore, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and China.

2. Average rates for the Top 100 skills are higher than what the majority of workers in the U.S. economy earn per hour

The average hourly rate for the Top 100 skills in Q3 is $43.72. This is more per hour than 88 percent of U.S. workers1 and higher than the median hourly rate for freelancers doing skilled services overall ($28 per hour).

“Given the highly skilled and in-demand nature of the Top 100, the high rates earned are not surprising. Yet compared to traditional staffing agencies, businesses find online talent solutions to be more cost-effective, easier to use and faster.” — Upwork Chief Economist Adam Ozimek, PhD

3. Fortune 500 companies across a range of industries leverage independent talent

“[Our] data shows that a diverse range of industries are leveraging independent professionals to access the skills they need, when they need them,” said Dr. Ozimek. “More than 30 percent of the Fortune 500 use Upwork today, and we expect that number to increase.”

The Upwork 100 — Key Highlights: U.S. freelancers work with businesses around the world; Independent professionals earn more on average than most U.S. professionals; Fortune 500 companies are leveraging independent talent. Click for larger version.

For a more detailed look at these trends, check out the press release.

The Upwork 100: Q3 2019

  • .NET Core
  • TypeScript
  • Landing pages
  • eBooks
  • Android
  • Electronic design
  • Presentation
  • Sketch
  • Research
  • Technical recruiter
  • Bank reconciliation
  • Slack
  • Google Tag Manager
  • Sourcing
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • Video post-editing
  • LinkedIn recruiting
  • Data visualization
  • Interviewing
  • Interior design
  • System administration
  • Kubernetes
  • Data scraping
  • Technical documentation
  • Project scheduling
  • Adobe Premiere Pro
  • 2D animation
  • Firebase
  • Customer retention marketing
  • Salesforce Lightning
  • DevOps
  • Selenium
  • Accounts receivable management
  • Microsoft Windows Azure
  • Database design
  • AutoCAD
  • Usability testing
  • C development
  • Accounts payable management
  • Lead generation
  • Product descriptions
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
  • Circuit design
  • eLearning
  • Google Docs
  • Docker
  • GitHub
  • Redux for JavaScript
  • Business planning
  • Data entry
  • Motion graphics
  • Infographics
  • Architecture
  • Asana
  • Instagram marketing
  • Shopify development
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Architectural rendering
  • PostgreSQL administration
  • Salesforce app development
  • Python
  • Magento 2
  • Link building
  • MongoDB
  • Bootstrap
  • SEO writing
  • Web scraping
  • Animation
  • Network security
  • 3D rendering
  • Agile project management
  • Administrative support
  • Data mining
  • Internet research
  • English grammar
  • Squarespace
  • Elasticsearch
  • Startup consulting
  • AWS Lambda
  • Branding
  • Media relations
  • Appointment setting
  • 3D design
  • Bookkeeping
  • Romance writing
  • Budgeting and forecasting
  • Product design
  • Financial accounting
  • Adobe After Effects
  • Zendesk
  • Accounting
  • Virtual assistant
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Postgre SQL programming
  • Tax preparation
  • Embedded systems
  • Audio editing
  • Google Analytics
  • Amazon S3

The goal of the Upwork 100 is to highlight the fastest-growing skills that also have a consistent and substantial level of demand. To do this, using data sourced from the Upwork.com database, we first limit the analysis to skills that are the most in-demand by including only skills that have been in the top 500 on Upwork.com in terms of freelancer billings for the past four complete quarters. Within that, we then rank the top 100 fastest-growing skills based on year-over-year growth rates in freelancer billings for Q3 2019 versus Q3 2018.

The next Upwork 100 report will be released winter 2020.

1 Economic Policy Institute. 2019. Current Population Survey Extracts, Version 0.6.13.

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