On Thursday, Uber released a commissioned report about its drivers.
It’s the company’s first-ever report on who its drivers are and how much they make.
The study was co-authored by Uber’s head of policy research Dr. Jonathan Hall, and Alan Krueger, the former chair of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, Princeton University’s Bendheim professor of economics and public affairs, and a member of President Obama’s cabinet.
Uber released the study a day after Bloomberg reported that Uber had worked out a $US1.6 billion convertible-debt round with Goldman Sachs. The study was also released shortly before the start of the second day of the US Conference of Mayors, an event at which Uber’s SVP of policy and strategy David Plouffe is speaking.
Here’s some of the statistics we learned about Uber drivers from the company’s new report:
- On average, Uber’s drivers use the app more than five times per day on days when they’re driving.
- Uber drivers come from diverse racial and educational backgrounds.
- 14% of Uber drivers are women. That’s more than the 1% of taxi drivers who are women, but less than the overall share of women in the workforce.
- On average, Uber drivers make $US19 per hour. In New York, the disparity between what Uber drivers make ($US30.35 an hour) and what taxi drivers make ($US15.17 an hour) is the largest of any city in the report. However, the report comes with a caveat: these figures don’t take into account driver’s costs, which are paid out of pocket by drivers. “Nonetheless, the figures suggest that unless their after-tax costs average more than $US6 per hour, the net hourly earnings of Uber’s driver-partners exceed the hourly wage of employed taxi drivers and chauffeurs, on average,” the report says.
- 25% of Uber drivers are over age 50.
- 71% of Uber drivers say they have increased their income while working for Uber. Only 11% said that working with Uber has decreased their income.
- Within a month of becoming an active Uber driver, 11% of drivers go inactive, meaning they stopped using the service for the next six months. 70% of drivers who started working for Uber in the first half of 2013 were still actively driving for Uber.
- Most drivers stick with Uber because they like the flexibility of the work Uber provides — that is, being an independent contractor.
- 35% of Uber drivers surveyed said if Uber weren’t available anymore, they’d pursue work for another car-hailing company.
- In December 2014, Uber had 162,037 active drivers on its platform.
- In the last quarter of 2014, Uber paid out over $US650 million to drivers in the US.
The number of new Uber drivers is also steadily increasing in the US every month:
Research firm Benenson Strategy Group conducted the survey of 601 Uber drivers in December 2014 from 20 of Uber’s US markets, including New York City, San Francisco, and Austin. Drivers were anonymized and compensated for their participation.
The response rate for the survey was 11%, though “based on a comparison of aggregated administrative data, the (weighted) respondents do not appear to be very different from the full set of driver-partners in terms of their average work hours or hourly earnings,” the report says.
Uber’s car-hailing competitors are not mentioned in the report. The report’s authors instead compare and contrast Uber drivers’ data to those of taxi and limousine drivers, as well as the economy as a whole.