Study of 40 DC Uber drivers over a two-year period finds some still don't know what they actually earn because of how often Uber changes the rules (Alison Griswold/Oversharing)


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Slippery wages.

Georgetown University’s Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor released a two-year report (pdf) on the working conditions of 40 Uber drivers in the Washington DC area. The top-level points:

Uber drivers don’t know how much they earn (or lose)

Regulators and researchers lack information on driver work conditions

33% of Uber drivers took on debt relating to the job

30% of drivers reported physical assaults or safety concerns

And yet, 50% of drivers would recommend it to a friend, and 45% planned to continue for at least six months

The researchers define the “complex and difficult-to-track set of earnings and expenses” involved in working for Uber as a “slippery wage.” They cite a conversation with a 53-year-old Uber driver, Suzanna, who said her weekly pay is hard to measure “because it changes every time they change the rules.” During its time in DC, Uber has cut the base rates drivers earn,