If you’ve ever sat in the back of an Uber car and wondered what it would be like to be the driver, ruminate no further.
Uber released a trove of data Thursday that answers pretty much every question you’ve ever had about the average Joe (or Jane) Uber driver. In a joint analysis by Princeton Professor of Economics Alan Krueger and Uber Head of Policy Research Jonathan Hall, Uber revealed its drivers’ average wages, education, race, and driving patterns. The data are based on aggregated data from Uber driving histories, schedules and earnings from 2012-2014, as well as a survey of 601 active drivers.
Basically, it’s every nosy question you ever had for Uber drivers, answered. So sit back in your seat, enjoy the passing scenery, and query away — Here are all your questions as answered by a hypothetical Uber driver, per the company’s own data:
Are you a man?
Probably. Only about 13.8% of Uber drivers are female. Comparatively, women make up nearly half of the overall U.S. workforce.
How old are you?
Unsurprisingly, we Uber drivers tend to be younger than the average U.S. worker, and much younger than the average taxi driver. A plurality of us are between 30-39 years old, compared with 22.5% in the regular work force and 19.9% among regular taxi drivers and chauffeurs.
Did you go to college?
We’re better educated than the average U.S. worker. About 37% of us Uber drivers have a college degree, versus 25.1% in the general work pool.
Why did you start driving Uber?
It’s likely I started driving for Uber as a temporary gig. About one-third of us started with Uber to earn money while looking for a steady, full-time job.
Is this your only job?
Don’t think so. Uber is still a side-gig for most drivers. Over 62% of Uber drivers are working full-time or part-time on another job.
How many hours do you drive Uber a week?
Not that many, to be honest. A majority (51%) of Uber drivers work 15 hours a week or fewer. Only 19% of us are really driving full-time (35 hours per week and more) compared with 81% of regular taxi drivers and chauffeurs.
Tell me how much money you make.
Ahem. It’s complicated. On average, we make $19.04 per hour, but our earnings vary widely across the country. In New York, for instance, our average wage per hour is $30.35, while in Chicago, it’s just $16.20.
Compare that to taxi driver and chauffeur hourly wages: on average nationwide, they make $12.90 per hour. So that’s about $6.14 less per hour than us Uber drivers.
When are you going to quit?
Pretty soon. Most Uber drivers don’t keep the job very long. Just a little more than half are still taking rides a year after starting. That’s because a lot of people don’t see Uber as a long-term job — it’s a stopgap before doing something else.
Do you earn a higher hourly wage if you work more hours?
Yes. Believe it or not, Uber drivers who work more hours also make more money each hour. The earnings sweet spot for both uberX and UberBLACK drivers is 35 to 49 hours per week, when drivers make $17.56 and $21.67 per hour, respectively. Any more or any fewer hours than that, and drivers start to earn slightly less per hour.
How many drivers does Uber have?
There were more than 160,000 active Uber drivers by the end of 2014. (“Active” means that a driver gives at least four rides per month.) Some 120,000 of those drivers signed up with Uber in the last 12 months.
For comparison’s sake, Amazon had 149,500 employees in the September 2014. McDonald’s had 440,000 at the end of 2013. But it’s important to remember that only a small number of us Uber drivers (32,000 by our count) work full-time.
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