Uber strike in New York City. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A two-year study of Uber drivers in Washington, D.C. found that Uber's payment system is so difficult to understand that 100% of participants had trouble figuring out how much they were actually earning.

Details: One female driver even calculated that she was making less than $5 an hour after expenses.

Why it matters: The study could put more pressure on Uber to release more detailed data on how it pays drivers and put it in the cross-hairs of legislators.

  • Researchers reported that 83% of drivers in the study knew what percentage of their fares Uber took, but 38% did not know how Uber determined that amount.
  • "This varying degree of knowledge about compensation details could have been expected if the majority of drivers in our study were new to the Uber platform. But they were not. Seventy percent of the drivers in this study had worked on the Uber platform for at least seven months," researchers from Georgetown University said in the report.

The report's overall findings were limited to its 40-driver, one-city sample size, but because Uber doesn't provide detailed data on what its drivers earn, it is one of the clearest examples of how the company operates. (The FTC fined Uber $20 million in 2017 for exaggerating how much drivers could earn.)

The study's main conclusions:

  • Data about the Uber workplace is limited. Regulators and researchers do not have access to basic information about labor conditions.
  • Uber drivers are encouraged to take on financial risk and debt. 33% of drivers took on debt as a result of their work on the ride-hailing platform.
  • Uber drivers report challenges to their health and safety. 30% of drivers reported physical assaults or safety concerns.
  • Despite these challenges, the Uber workplace remained attractive. 50% of drivers would recommend the job to a friend, and 45% of drivers planned to keep working the job for at least 6 more months.

Go deeper: Uber and Lyft drivers plan to strike in LA

Go deeper

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 12,009,301 — Total deaths: 548,799 — Total recoveries — 6,561,969Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 3,053,328 — Total deaths: 132,256 — Total recoveries: 953,420 — Total tested: 37,532,612Map.
  3. Public health: Houston mayor cancels Republican convention over coronavirus concerns Deaths are rising in hotspots — Déjà vu sets in as testing issues rise and PPE dwindles.
  4. Travel: United warns employees it may furlough 45% of U.S. workforce How the pandemic changed mobility habits, by state.
  5. Education: New York City schools will not fully reopen in fallHarvard and MIT sue Trump administration over rule barring foreign students from online classes.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: A misinformation "infodemic" is here.

Transcripts show George Floyd told police "I can't breathe" over 20 times

Photo: Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Newly released transcripts of bodycam footage from the Minneapolis Police Department show that George Floyd told officers he could not breathe more than 20 times in the moments leading up to his death.

Why it matters: Floyd's killing sparked a national wave of Black Lives Matter protests and an ongoing reckoning over systemic racism in the United States. The transcripts "offer one the most thorough and dramatic accounts" before Floyd's death, The New York Times writes.

11 hours ago - Health

Fighting the coronavirus infodemic

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

An "infodemic" of misinformation and disinformation has helped cripple the response to the novel coronavirus.

Why it matters: High-powered social media accelerates the spread of lies and political polarization that motivates people to believe them. Unless the public health sphere can effectively counter misinformation, not even an effective vaccine may be enough to end the pandemic.