Last month, new research released by Accenture showed that platform work was a financial safety net during COVID-19 in Canada, and other countries around the world. In order to better understand and quantify the earnings experience for drivers in Canada, we shared internal data with Accenture from July 2020 to June 2021 on drivers using the Uber app in Vancouver.
Today, Accenture released the full report—The Driver Experience, based on their methodology and findings. The results of the report offer a number of insights that are reflective of trends we’re seeing across the country:
Vancouver drivers on Uber are receiving strong earnings. Accenture’s research found that average net earnings is $24.38 per session hour*, 60% higher than the current minimum wage in British Columbia, and 18-35% more when compared to other occupations in Vancouver, such as taxi drivers and retail salespersons. The report found that June 2021 earnings were some of the highest ever, with the average gross earnings** at $34.61 per hour. Uber began operating in Vancouver in January of 2020, and couldn’t have come at a better time – with the loss of many jobs when the pandemic hit in March 2020, driving on Uber became an important source of earnings for residents of Vancouver irrespective of their education and employment history.
Flexibility on Uber is paramount. Drivers in Vancouver appreciate the flexibility of the Uber App – they can choose their schedules in real-time to balance other responsibilities. 46% of drivers in Vancouver spend 15 hours or less per week on the Uber app, 34% spend from 15- 35 hours, and only 20% spend 35+ hours on the app. The report also found that one in two drivers spend at least 50% of their time on the Uber app working outside of weekday daytime hours. These are hours that they may not be able to work in most jobs. And one-third of drivers vary their work schedule on a weekly basis. This distribution in hours from week to week accounts for times when things get busy, or the need to earn for big moments. Drivers can adapt their schedules to meet their earnings needs.
Drivers are in control of their earnings. By making tweaks or changes to their working hours, drivers can optimize their earnings. The report indicated that drivers on the Uber app can increase their hourly earnings by $0.68 by working 10% more on weekend overnight instead of weekday daytimes.
“Looking back at data from July 2020 to June 2021, it’s clear that Uber provided an important source of earnings for residents of Vancouver with averages of almost $25/hour after expenses,” said Michael van Hemmen, Head of Cities, Uber Canada. “Accenture’s research shows that drivers were able to rely on strong earnings, and manage their schedules around their other responsibilities. These earnings helped to keep Vancouver drivers and their families afloat during the pandemic.”
On the ground, drivers agree with the findings. Sukhjit Sidhu has been driving for over a year using Uber, and said “Through personal experience I can definitely say that Uber helped my family and me tremendously through the pandemic as we were facing financial hardships. I genuinely enjoy driving with Uber as I work my own hours and earn accordingly.”
Read the full report here.