Meet the typical gig driver: A millennial earning up to $40 per hour who doesn’t have another job and depends on your tips – DIGIWIZ CENTRAL

Meet the typical gig driver: A millennial earning up to $40 per hour who doesn’t have another job and depends on your tips

Millennials are most likely to be gig drivers.

DoorDash

The number of Americans driving for gig platforms like Uber has grown considerably in recent years.Many are using the extra income to combat elevated inflation in the US. Gig drivers are likely to be dependent on the job for their main income, and need your tips.

Driving for gig platforms like Uber and DoorDash has become popular in recent years.

The number of Uber drivers hit a record-high 5 million in 2022, and last fall, Lyft said it had its highest number of active drivers in over two years. Delivering food or groceries for platforms like DoorDash, Grubhub, or Instacart appears to be even more prevalent — DoorDash alone has over 2 million active drivers.

Rising inflation has been among the key motivators for Americans to start and continue driving. Seventy percent of new Uber drivers cited inflation as a reason for joining the platform, the company’s CEO reported on a February conference call with analysts and investors. And 85% of the more than 2,200 app-based earners surveyed by Morning Consult in April said their gig income had helped them deal with rising prices.

Omar Ford is one example. He began driving part time for Uber Eats and DoorDash in 2021 — when inflation began to spike — to supplement his pension and disability benefits, he previously told Insider. He said he’d had some negative experiences with customers, but the extra money was worth it.

Omar Ford.

Omar Ford

If the economy takes a turn for the worse and unemployment rises, the number of gig drivers could increase even further.

Who are these gig drivers? They’re likely to be millennials earning up to $40 per hour, using driving as their main source of income, and relying on customer tips, according to surveys, company data, and drivers’ accounts.

Millennials are the most likely generation to be gig drivers

An Uber driver with passengers.

Robert Alexander/Getty Images

A 2021 Pew Research survey of over 10,000 adults found that 18% of 18- to 29-year-olds had worked for a delivery platform, compared to 7% of 30- to 49-year-olds. Nine percent of 18- to 29-year-olds and 6% of 30- to 49-year-olds surveyed by Pew had driven for a ride-hailing app.

Given that many more millennials — born between 1981 and 1996 — are of working age than Gen Zers — born between 1997 and 2012 — it’s likely that there are more millennial gig drivers.

Men and women were equally as likely to have worked as delivery drivers, while men were slightly more likely to have driven for a ride-hailing app, according to Pew. Additionally, Hispanic people were the most likely to have worked as gig drivers: 16% of Hispanic people surveyed said they had worked as a delivery driver, compared to 10% of Black, 7% of Asian, and 4% of white respondents.

The typical gig driver earns between $20 and $40 an hour

Sergio Avedian.

Sergio Avedian

People in lower-income tiers are more likely to work as gig drivers than people in higher income brackets, according to Pew. Eight percent of those surveyed who were considered low-income earners had driven for a ride-hailing platform, compared to 4% of middle-income and 2% of upper-income earners.

The survey classified 32% of respondents as low income and 46% as middle income, so the ratio of low-income drivers is likely higher.

The typical Uber driver earns $35 per active — or utilized — hour, the company said in February. In September, a Lyft representative told Insider that including tips and bonuses, the average US driver makes close to $36 an active hour.

But ride-hailing drivers previously told Insider that they use their online work hours — the time they have the app open — to determine their per-hour pay. They said this provides a more accurate reflection of their per-hour earnings. Additionally, the figures Uber and Lyft provided don’t account for vehicle expenses like gas and maintenance.

Sergio Avedian, an Uber driver who is a senior contributor to the gig-driver-advocacy blog and YouTube channel The Rideshare Guy, told Insider that based on his research in Los Angeles, the typical driver earns between $22 and $25 an hour before expenses. He said vehicle expenses like gas and maintenance generally cost a driver $5 to $7 an hour.

Some drivers have had better luck, however. In September, four ride-hailing drivers told Insider that they earn between $22 to $40 an hour after expenses.

A DoorDash spokesperson said in April that delivery drivers earn an average of $25 an hour before expenses. Drivers who work part time — or are more picky with which orders they accept — can sometimes see higher hourly earnings.

The typical gig driver doesn’t have other income and is trying out multiple apps

A DoorDash delivery driver in New York City

Ribeiro/New York Daily News/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

For many Americans, gig work is a side hustle. Nearly two-thirds of app-based gig earners are working 15 hours or less a week, Morning Consult found.

But when it comes to a subset of gig workers — drivers for ride-hailing or delivery apps — driving isn’t a side gig. It’s their main source of income, a new Bank of America analysis of internal customer data found.

In August, Bank of America found that 31% of individuals who received gig-type income from ride-hailing platforms also received a traditional paycheck. Meanwhile, 44% of people with income from delivery platforms also received a traditional paycheck.

What’s more, gig drivers usually don’t stick to one platform. Over 80% of app-based earners told Morning Consult they’ve used multiple gig platforms in a given period.

The typical gig driver is fighting for tips

Nathaniel Hudson-Hartman

Nathaniel Hudson-Hartman

In May, The New York Times reported on the financial struggles of gig workers for companies like Uber Eats and DoorDash. One of the drivers’ main complaints was that customers had cut back on tipping

Tips are a considerable part of a driver’s income. Jeff Hoenig, 63, a part-time Uber and Lyft driver in South Carolina, told Insider that tips accounted for roughly 18% of his earnings.

Meanwhile, Nathaniel Hudson-Hartman, a Portland-based ride-hailing driver, said that if it weren’t for tips and ride bonuses, his earnings would have fallen from $24 to $13 an hour this past summer.

An Uber spokesperson previously told Insider that tipping has increased since 2020. A DoorDash spokesperson said that the majority of DoorDash customers leave a tip.

“If it wasn’t for tips, delivery drivers wouldn’t be making any money, period,” Avedian said. “Without the tip, it’s just financially not feasible.”

Are you a gig worker willing to share your story about pay, schedule, and tipping? If so, reach out to this reporter at [email protected]

Read the original article on Business Insider
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