Time to Hire an E-Lancer?
(Inc.) — With unemployment at 9 percent and 2012 looking bleak, many job seekers find themselves adrift in a modern version of the preindustrial piecework economy. E-lancers, freelancers, and assorted contract laborers are taking on discrete assignments that would once have been handled by full-time employees. Recognizing that financial crisis or no, people still need things done, entrepreneurs are brokering tasks for the un- and underemployed. Amazon was in this space early with Mechanical Turk, a crowdsourced market in which programmers bid out simple tasks that humans do better than computers, like identifying objects in pictures. Although the opportunities advertised on SkillSlate, which bills itself as a local-service auction site, are more substantial, most are not the stuff of which careers are made.