Don’t get too attached to Uber and Lyft for your job. It looks like the whole "gig" economy thing might just be a fad.
According to a new report from The Associated Press, evidence shows that gig jobs — where people work job to job with little security and few employment rights — don’t deliver great financial returns for workers.
- Similarly, gig jobs don’t appear to be reshaping the workforce. Pay for gig workers has dropped over the last two years. Many gig workers have found jobs in other sectors.
- And those who make money through online platforms only make some for a few months in the year.
- “The number of gig workers has grown substantially in the past five years, the (JPMorgan Chase) Institute found, but growth is slowing. Among drivers, a flood of competition on sites like Uber and Lyft has led to lower pay,” according to The Associated Press.
Here is a numerical example for you: About 1.6 percent of families participated in the gig economy in March 2018. That number has climbed barely from 1.5 percent the year before.
- These numbers come from a new study by the JP Morgan Chase Institute, which found that most people on average make $828 per month on gig services. Though that’s higher than the average of $688 in 2013, it’s down from $1,006 in 2015.
- All in all, a gig job will give you an extra $10,000 a year, which is nowhere close to a full-time job salary, according to Business Insider.
- Of course, the study didn’t measure how often people drive. But those who did drive more than average still didn’t earn much more than the others.
- "Some people got a little ahead of the curve in saying this was the future of work," said Diana Farrell, the institute's CEO. "It's not at all clear that people are leaving their traditional jobs to do this instead."
- She added, "These trends suggest that freelance transportation work is not a promising prospect for those looking to generate enough income to free them from traditional employment.”
So why have numbers gone down?
According to Recode, it could be for a number of reasons, including:
- Drivers are working fewer hours in their gig economy jobs than they used to.
- Demand for the number of drivers hasn’t increased in the last three years.
- Prices for individual trips have fallen.
- Platforms are paying drivers less money than in the past.
A spokesman for Uber said it’s likely due to an increase in part-time drivers.1 comment on this story
- “The study’s findings reinforce what we and many others have said for some time: That the growth in on-demand work is driven, in large part, by people who use platforms like Uber on the side,” the Uber spokesman said. “Given the growing share of people who use platforms like Uber only occasionally, a more appropriate metric to focus on would be average hourly earnings, which have remained steady over time.”
A Lyft spokesman agreed.
- “The fact that this study did not examine hourly earnings, the metric that drivers care most about, has resulted in misleading headlines,” the Lyft spokesman told Recode. “Many more drivers are choosing to earn with Lyft on a part-time basis, often fewer than ten hours per week, and they tell us they truly value the flexibility Lyft provides.”