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What are the Top 10 nations for online workers?

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Romeo Gacad/Newscom/File

(Read caption) In 2007, this Filipino call center in Manila represented the Philippines' economic plan to capture at least 10 percent of the world's back office work. Increasingly freelance workers are skipping the employer and contracting directly with foreign employers. The Philippines is No. 2 in online jobs, according to a new report.

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You probably know someone like this:

They work for everyone and no one. Their job horizon is day-to-day or contract-to-contract. They can be working for someone around the corner or across the globe.

In the 20th century, we called them freelance or contract workers and thought them odd. Now, they're becoming mainstream – not just in the United States, but around the world.

In fact, the US is not the leader in freelance online jobs. India is, followed by the Philippines, and then the US, according to a new report by oDesk Corp.

IN PICTURES: Top 10 nations for online work.

The numbers from oDesk represent just a small slice of the market for online freelancers. But as a leading marketplace for companies and online workers to meet up, across the globe, it has perhaps as good a handle as anybody on how the field is growing.

The Menlo Park, Calif., company has seen its own business double each year since 2004. It hosts some 100,000 employers who post jobs they want done and just under 500,000 freelancers around the world who bid on the work.

The jobs themselves range from data entry to computer programming to translating. In February, oDesk freelancers worked 630,600 hours and earned $7.1 million.

And the places they come from are not always what you might expect.

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