Uber Rivals Keep Jobs But Earn Less

By Gary Cutlack on at

Researchers looking at Uber's disruption of the taxi industry have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that it's created more driving jobs and hasn't led to mass redundancies among its existing rivals, but the bad news is that drivers from competing firms are now earning less than they used to.

This comes from a serious paper [PDF] assembled by a team at the University of Oxford, which concerned itself with the effects of the sharing economy on existing careers. It's all about bums on seats for Uber, with the data showing that earnings among Uber drivers is higher because the app-based system lets them have "higher capacity utilization" -- more time driving and less waiting -- than traditional cab firms, which is subtly shifting the earning power away from salaried career drivers and toward Uber workers.

But at least no one lost their jobs -- overall driver employment increased in cities where Uber launched, as you might expect, with the report saying: "...total employment expanded in cities where the Uber platform was adopted, and earnings reductions among wage employed workers were in part offset by increases in hourly incomes among self-employed drivers."

Which is... good for the economy in general, but not great for those working in the old fashioned queue-at-the-station taxi model businesses. [Drivers of Disruption? via New Scientist]

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