Uber hits record number of drivers and couriers amid elevated inflation
Drivers have been flocking to Uber despite high gas prices, the company's second quarter earnings report shows.
Driving the news: The number of Uber drivers and delivery earners reached a record last quarter — of nearly 5 million, up 31% from last year — the company reported this morning.
- New driver sign-ups surged 76%, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told analysts.
Quick take: The need to make extra income to counteract overall record inflation appears to outweigh the expenses associated with being able to earn that extra income.
- Over 70% of drivers added in the quarter cited the higher cost of living as a reason for joining.
What they're saying: "No one wishes for a tough economic environment or elevated inflation that's affecting so many of us, including Uber drivers," Khosrowshahi said.
- "At the same time, from a competitive standpoint, there's no question that this operating environment is stronger for us."
The big picture: Demand for out-of-home experiences has never been higher — offering more opportunity for drivers to earn.
- Trips given grew 24% from last year to 1.9 billion.
- Monthly active customers on Uber's platform grew 21% to 122 million.
Earnings through Uber's platform has grown even faster:
- Driver and delivery worker earnings grew 37% to $10.8 billion in aggregate —with drivers making $37 per utilized hour, and those who did both earning about $30 an hour, Khosrowshahi noted.
- For context: the average base salary for a truck driver is about $37 an hour, according to Indeed.
Be smart: Americans on the lower end of the income scale spent about 8% of their after-tax income on gas in 2019.
- At the top end, that drops to about 2%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics' latest data shows.
Yes, but: Record gas prices have started to recede.
- The U.S. average is under $4.24 a gallon this week — down from an all-time high of $5.02 in early June, according to GasBuddy.
What we're watching: Ride-share competitor Lyft reports earnings Thursday after markets close.