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The freelance gigs that flourished during Covid-19

Jessica Yun
·3-min read
Those with skills in mathematics programming and statistical analysis skills are in high demand. (Source: Getty)
Those with skills in mathematics programming and statistical analysis skills are in high demand. (Source: Getty)

Demand for those with programming, coding and engineering skills has virtually doubled during the coronavirus pandemic, a new report has revealed.

According to Freelancer.com’s latest Fast50 report, the volume of work opportunities in the gig economy is rising, with the number of jobs on Freelancer rising 41 per cent in the second quarter of 2020 compared to the same time period in 2019, from 429,000 to 605,000.

And those with skills in mathematical modelling, specifically in Matlab and Mathematica saw demand nearly double (99.6 per cent), followed closely by those with application programming interface (API) skills (91 per cent).

Those with skills in XML, a language very similar to but more flexible than HTML, saw the third-greatest rise in demand (89.9 per cent), while those with project management skills saw Freelancer jobs requesting their skills rise by 86.2 per cent.

Mechanical, electrical and civil engineering gigs also rose significantly, as well as those with statistical skills, legal research skills and game design and development skills.

Fast20, Q2 2020. (Source: Freelancer.com)
Fast20, Q2 2020. (Source: Freelancer.com)
Fast20, Q2 2020. (Source: Freelancer.com)
Fast20, Q2 2020. (Source: Freelancer.com)

According to Freelancer, the rise in data crunching skills comes from the higher volume of data being tracked and analysed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Major data-cruncher employers are from the healthcare, government, business and media sectors.

Computer security, eCommerce, and other app development skills also made the top 25 list, with banner design and academic writing also rising significantly (44.6 per cent and 44.1 per cent respectively).

Entrepreneurs were launching eCommerce business during lockdown, according to Freelancer, with Shopify’s stock price more than doubling in the six months to 13 July, and with video gaming hours spiking, projects in game design, development, 2D animation and Adobe Flash also saw significant growth.

Local gigs, online assistant jobs in decline

Meanwhile, jobs that decreased amid the lockdown the most were local jobs and gigs that required writing, and excel skills, while general administration and virtual assistant gigs, and jobs involving resume and email handling skills also fell.

“The freelance online job market continues to flourish in spite of global challenges,” said Freelancer CEO Matt Barrie.

“Towards the very end of Q1 2020 was the start of a deluge of demand and in Q2 2020, the number of users that joined our platform, including freelancers and employers looking for freelancers, surged enormously.

“While Covid-19 has been the trigger of the already upward trending freelancer movement, this exponential growth can also be attributed to the strong desire for individuals to finally start their own freelance enterprise, work on their own terms and supplement their income,” he said.

“These are promising times and positive signs for the gig economy.”

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