Study shows average hourly earnings for Massachusetts app-based drivers are substantially higher than those for employees in benchmark jobs
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BOSTON, MA – March 24, 2022 – A new study conducted by third-party researchers at BW Research Partnership (BW Research) and Mass Insight Global Partnerships found that Massachusetts app-based rideshare and food delivery drivers working on the DoorDash, Instacart, Lyft, and/or Uber platforms earned on average $26.08 per hour during a six month period in 2021 examined by the study.
The study accounted for tips and bonuses, estimated expenses and a portion of the time before and between rides or deliveries, and found that app-based rideshare and delivery drivers in Massachusetts earned well above the state’s 2021 minimum wage of $13.50. They also earned substantially more than employees in industries identified as likely alternative sources of work earned during this period, including retail salespersons, counter and rental clerks, cashiers and fast food cooks.
“The data paints a very clear picture of what drivers actually earn in Massachusetts, and in our analysis it is substantially more than many likely alternative forms of work,” said Phil Jordan, Vice President and Principal Researcher at BW Research, a firm specializing in economic and workforce research. “That is $26 per hour on top of the flexibility that drivers say in surveys is what they like most about this work.”
The BW Research analysis is modeled on methods and assumptions used by independent academic researchers at the Cornell University, Industrial and Labor RelationsSchool’s Institute for Workplace Studies in their 2020 report Platform Driving in Seattle. This “Cornell model” sought to quantify driver earnings in Seattle after driver expenses and accounting for a portion of time when drivers are on the app in the period prior to accepting an offered ride or delivery.
A proposed ballot initiative would create a minimum earnings guarantee for drivers of 120% of minimum wage (ensuring drivers will earn a minimum of $18 per hour in 2023), while ensuring they can continue to earn more by driving when, where, and for however long they want. The ballot question would also offer drivers historic new benefits, including paid sick time, paid family and medical leave, occupational accident insurance, health care stipends and more.
In a survey released last month, Massachusetts rideshare and delivery drivers said they supported the ballot question by a margin of 8:1.
The Flexibility & Benefits for Massachusetts Drivers committee is committed to securing rideshare and delivery earning opportunities for residents statewide who value the earning potential and the flexibility the work affords them.