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Uber 2015 Driver survey highlights driver happiness, ignores earnings

chi1cabby

Well-Known Member
http://m.sfgate.com/business/article/Uber-survey-highlights-driver-happiness-ignores-6676872.php

Uber released a survey Monday showing that its U.S. drivers — now numbering over 400,000 — value flexibility and enjoy their work. But the survey seemed as notable for what it omitted, such as driver earnings, as what it included.

While the survey looked at drivers’ attitudes and demographics, it sidestepped hot-button topics such as actual earnings and how many drivers work full time through the ride-hailing company. Many of the results echoed arguments Uber has made in court cases involving drivers seeking to be reclassified as employees. They also buttress Uber’s claim that it helps boost income for people who are between jobs or struggling to pay bills, something Uber board member and chief adviser David Plouffe has been discussing in speeches.


“Uber provides an option and an opportunity to hundreds of thousands of Americans that wasn’t there before,” said Joel Benenson, CEO of the company that did the survey, in a statement. “It’s clear from the data that drivers place immense value on the flexibility Uber gives them to go to school, earn extra income, be with their families and do other things with some extra money in their pockets.”

Creating a platform for people to make money driving their own cars for hire has paid off big time for Uber, a 6-year-old company whosevaluation last week vaulted to a stunning $62.5 billion, eclipsing Ford Motor Co., General Motors and Time Warner. If Uber drivers were employees, its U.S. workforce would roughly equal that of McDonald’s, which has 420,000 full-time and part-time employees. The fast food giant’s market capitalization is $106.6 billion.

Some 81 percent of surveyed drivers said they are satisfied or very satisfied about driving for Uber, while 97 percent expressed satisfaction with the flexibility, Uber said.

“Folks choose to drive for Uber because of that flexibility element and that control over their own schedules,” said an Uber spokesman. “Different drivers use it in different ways.”

Research firm Benenson Strategy Group interviewed 833 drivers in 24 large cities, including San Francisco, in November. Benenson did similar interviews with 601 drivers in December 2014, whichUber released in January as part of a report co-authored by Princeton economist Alan Krueger. This year, Uber simply released selected data without producing a report. In both cases, the respondents were representative of Uber’s overall driver contingent, it said, with UberX “citizen drivers” vastly outnumbering Uber Black limousine drivers.

Last year’s report examined driver earnings — saying that San Francisco drivers earn $23 an hour, for instance — but was widely criticized for omitting expenses such as gasoline and car maintenance that would erode those figures.

Both years’ surveys examined whether drivers work elsewhere besides Uber. Being solely dependent on a company for income is one determinant of being an employee. Sixty-nine percent of drivers, up from 62 percent last year, said they do other work besides driving for Uber. A fifth of drivers said Uber was their only source of income, while a third said it was a major income source, and 48 percent said it was supplemental income.

Eighty-eight percent said they drove with Uber “because it fit their life well, not because it was their only option,” the survey results said.

“One of the big hallmarks of flexibility is drivers’ ability to earn money with us and with their other jobs,” said an Uber spokesman.

Exactly half of respondents were just occasional drivers, averaging less than 10 hours a week behind the wheel, Uber said. However, it didn’t look at the other end of the spectrum: how many drivers work 40 hours or more a week, which might lead one to consider them full-time workers.

An increasing number of women drive for Uber — 19 percent of respondents were female, compared with 14 percent last year. That seems to be accelerating, Uber said, because 29 percent of new drivers in the past three months are women.

Eleven percent are students, almost double the 6 percent of students in the general population.

Another shift is among those new to professional driving. Two-thirds (67 percent) of respondents this year said they’d never previously earned money from driving, up from 51 percent a year ago.

Uber’s drivers “continue to be a majority minority group,” Uber said. Whites account for 40 percent of drivers, while blacks are 24 percent, Hispanics are 20 percent, Asians are 13 percent and other backgrounds are 6 percent. (The survey accepted multiple answers, so results add up to more than 100 percent.)

Drivers’ ages were evenly distributed across the spectrum, with anywhere from 23 to 30 percent falling in all of these categories: 21 to 29, 30 to 39, 40 to 49 and 50 plus.

“Folks are seeing (Uber) as something they can use when they need it,” an Uber spokesman said. “It doesn’t necessarily need to become a permanent activity or source of income. When they need it to make money, it’s there.”

Carolyn Said is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. E-mail:csaid@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @csaid

Edit: This was Uber's 2014 Benenson Survey & Krueger Study:
(Edited) Uber Study: UberX Drivers Grossed $16.50/Hr (B4 Expenses) During Oct. In 20 Biggest Markets
 
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Gemgirlla

Well-Known Member
"Research firm Benenson Strategy Group interviewed 833 drivers in 24 large cities, including San Francisco, in November. Benenson did similar interviews with 601 drivers in December 2014, whichUber released in January as part of a report co-authored by Princeton economist Alan Krueger. This year, Uber simply released selected data without producing a report. In both cases, the respondents were representative of Uber’s overall driver contingent, it said, with UberX “citizen drivers” vastly outnumbering Uber Black limousine drivers."

They surveyed 833 drivers out of 400,000. This is a joke! That's not a survey. Strategy is not unlike the 400 or so driver affidavits Uber tried to use in the District Court case in San Fran.
 

Disgusted Driver

Well-Known Member
"Research firm Benenson Strategy Group interviewed 833 drivers in 24 large cities, including San Francisco, in November. Benenson did similar interviews with 601 drivers in December 2014, whichUber released in January as part of a report co-authored by Princeton economist Alan Krueger. This year, Uber simply released selected data without producing a report. In both cases, the respondents were representative of Uber’s overall driver contingent, it said, with UberX “citizen drivers” vastly outnumbering Uber Black limousine drivers."

They surveyed 833 drivers out of 400,000. This is a joke! That's not a survey. Strategy is not unlike the 400 or so driver affidavits Uber tried to use in the District Court case in San Fran.
Actually, if they randomly selected the 833 out of 400K or so drivers it would probably be a statistically valid sample. I'd have to look in my stats book to know for sure but I'm pretty sure it would be enough under the right conditions. The problem is that first off, they picked who they were going to send surveys too, we have no idea what their criteria was. Just as important, they couldn't make you respond so the population was self selecting within their sample. If I got one of those I wouldn't fill it out since it's likely not random so I would fear retribution for my answers. If they had selected 833 drivers at random, been able to absolutely assure them that the answers were anonymous and couldn't be used against them and made all 833 participate, then it would be valid. Guess what, I'm sure they didn't do any such thing.
 

William1964

Well-Known Member
I'm glad it's available for me. I like the flexibility. I don't mind the schedule For ubereats.

I don't see how they can take credit for a person's happiness. That's an internal thing that is only affected by the external. There someone feels happy or someone doesn't feel happy. but that's a totally different subject. I swear it's an actual place.
 
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