ICYMI: Pew Research Center releases new independent survey of U.S. adults showing 92% of rideshare drivers drive part time, with a majority fewer than 10 hours per week

CONTACT: Conor Yunits, 857-276-8479, cyunits@solomonmccown.com

BOSTON, MA – December 9, 2021 – survey just released by Pew Research Center provides key insights into the nature of app-based rideshare and delivery work. The survey, which was conducted in August 2021, points to app-based work playing an important role in how Americans earn extra income around a flexible work schedule. Among the key findings:

  • 92 percent of drivers spend fewer than 30 hours per week driving.
    • 64 percent work less than 10 hours per week or not at all most weeks.
  • 68 percent of drivers say this has been their side job.
  • 94 percent of U.S. adults believe gig platform jobs are a generally good way to earn extra money as a side job or to have the ability to work a flexible schedule.
  • 39 percent of drivers have earned money on two or more app-based platforms.
  • Eight-in-ten U.S. adults said this is generally a good way for people to be their own boss.
  • 65 percent of drivers see themselves as independent contractors, and 62 percent of Americans say ride-hailing drivers are most appropriately described as independent contractors, not employees.
  • 16 percent of Americans have earned money through app-based rideshare, delivery, household services or errands work.
    • 30 percent identify as Hispanic and 20 percent identify as Black.

The top reasons Americans have turned to app-based rideshare and delivery jobs over the past year include: wanting to save up extra money (56%), needing to cover gaps, changes in income (52%) and being able to control their own schedule (49%). A full 61 percent of current or recent gig workers describe these earnings as essential for meeting their basic needs.

The study notes that 78 percent of Americans who have ever earned money through these types of platforms say that their own experiences with these jobs have been positive, including 24 percent who describe it as very positive. It points out that majorities of gig workers report having a good experience with this work across age, gender, racial or ethnic background, and household income.

For Massachusetts drivers, a pending lawsuit filed by the Massachusetts Attorney General attempting to force many app-based drivers into becoming employees could change the appeal of this work. The Flexibility & Benefits For Massachusetts Drivers ballot question, however, would protect drivers’ flexibility and earnings potential, and ensure access to historic new benefits and protections for drivers, like company-paid sick time, the ability to appeal deactivations, and a guaranteed minimum level of earnings.