Study: Chicago App-Based Drivers Earn More than Double the Chicago Minimum Wage

New study shows app-based drivers average over $36/hour when working, while still favoring flexibility

Study: Chicago App-Based Drivers Earn More than Double the Chicago Minimum Wage
New study shows app-based drivers average over $36/hour when working, while still favoring flexibility

The Illinois Coalition for Independent Work has released
new data showing that, in addition to offering drivers flexibility
to make extra money when and where they choose, the
average hourly earnings for Chicago drivers today is $36.63,
well above the $15/hourly minimum wage in Chicago.


*  Average hourly earnings for drivers in Chicago, including
tips, is $36.63 per hour they’re providing a ride or delivery.
*  Even without tips, drivers in Chicago are earning an average
of $32.35 per hour they’re providing a ride or delivery.
* On average, drivers in Chicago are working fewer than five
hours a week per platform, turning to the app-based economy
for extra money when and where it best serves them.

The data, compiled by the Illinois Coalition for Independent
Work, represents aggregate hourly earnings for workers
at DoorDash, Instacart, Lyft and Uber in the City of Chicago
between January 1 and June 30, 2021. For the purposes of
calculating average hourly earnings, time worked is defined
as beginning at the time a passenger or delivery is accepted by
the driver until the trip or delivery is complete.

These drivers in Chicago are parents, teachers, students,
retirees, veterans and others who have turned to flexible work
to help make extra money when it works in their lives.
“What I have loved about working with Lyft is that I decide
when, where, and for however long I work,” said Crystal Pinkney,
a mother of two from the South Side who drives for Lyft
in her spare time. “Some days I have too many things going
on. Other days I have extra time on my hands so I chalk up
a few hours and make some extra spending money. It’s the
flexibility that I need most, and that’s exactly what I get.”
Earlier in the year, the Coalition released survey results
from a statewide poll conducted by ALG that found positive
reactions from drivers regarding their ability to access flexible
work. Specifically, the study found:
*  86% of drivers don’t rely on driving as their primary
*  75% of drivers are satisfied with their work and financial

As the legislature and city officials continue to focus on
ways to create a more inclusive economy, policymakers should
look for ways to strengthen access to work through access to
benefits and protections while protecting the flexibility and
independence drivers need.

“We need more, not fewer, income-earning opportunities that
allow people on Chicago’s South and West Sides to earn extra
income in ways that fit their schedules,” said Jaime di Paulo, President
and CEO of the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

App-based companies have also supported communities
across Chicago and the country amid the pandemic. Earlier
this year, Lyft and Uber announced a Covid-19 vaccination
ride program in partnership with the White House. The partnership
provided Americans free or discounted rides to and
from their vaccination appointments. Instacart is providing
shoppers and in-store teams with financial assistance in the
form of a COVID-19 Vaccine Support Stipend, ensuring
shoppers are able to take time away from Instacart to get vaccinated.
The stipend will be available through the end of 2021.
Instacart also supported vaccination efforts in Chicago, specifically
in the West Pullman neighborhood, distributing free
groceries and vaccines to community members. Additionally,
DoorDash donated gift cards as part of its Community Credits
program to local community health centers to broaden
vaccine access for underserved communities.

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