According to the last U.S. census taken in the year 2000, more than four million people were working on their computers from their own homes to earn a living, and a significant number of those were working as data entry workers. That was eight years ago, and the work-at-home idea has spread like wildfire. There are probably twice as many people who work at home today as there were in 2000, and the numbers are rising. It isn't hard to see why.
Working away from home at a job in a distant brick-and-mortar building is expensive and getting more expensive every day. Gas prices are going up at an alarming rate. All of the expenses related to working away from home are increasing daily — lunches cost more, and clothing costs more. Wages aren't keeping up with the increasing cost of leaving home to go to a job, so more and more people are turning to working at home.
Data entry is a job that is closely related to many of the jobs performed by employees at "real"-world businesses. Somebody has to enter all of the data that is collected somewhere before it becomes information that can be dissected, analyzed, and applied.
Conversely, employers out in the brick-and-mortar world have discovered that outsourcing work, particularly the data entry work, is cost-effective for them. They don't have to give company benefit packages to contracted employees (those who work from their own homes).
It's a win/win situation for employers as well as for those who would like to work from their own homes doing data entry jobs. Because both sides benefit, you can expect to see more and more jobs being outsourced to work-at-home employees — especially data entry jobs.