So what does Elance tell us about the work-from-home-without-showering-while-blasting-songs-on-iTunes contingent of the labor force? Elance doesn't reveal how many freelancers it surveyed -- five or 5,000? -- but here are a few highlights:
44% have a bachelor's degree and 20% have a master's degree;
24% of freelancers surveyed live in the South, the most of any geographical area;
92% say they use online job sites such as Elance to find work, but this survey was conducted by Elance so I'm sort of disregarding this statistic;
42% of freelancers are Gen Xers, the highest percentage of any generation;
36% say freelancing is their sole income;
60% of freelancers earn up to $50,000/year;
3% of freelancers earn anywhere between $150,000-$200,000. I'm guessing these people don't work in journalism;
25% say their income has decreased over the last twelve months. I'm guessing these people work in journalism.
And finally, men and women differed when asked which aspects of the freelance lifestyle are the most important to them. "Being my own boss/no chance of layoff" and "no commute" were the most important perks to women, while "no dress code" and "more control over my own schedule" were the most important perks to men.
So there you have it, folks! The state of the freelance nation, where the women don't want to drive during rush hour and the men don't want to wear clean dress shirts. It all makes sense now.