How Much Do Uber Drivers Really Make? It’s Less Than You Think

Sometimes, when things get stressful, I have this fantasy of dropping everything in my life and becoming an Uber driver. I mean, making money while driving around and listening to music? Meeting new people? Collecting great anecdotes to tell at parties? Sign me up!

The problem is that Uber drivers make a lot less than you think, not that Uber will ever admit that. In a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, Uber said that their “typical” driver collects more than $100,000 in annual gross fares. It’s a number that the company now disputes, especially in light of a new investigative piece from the writers of at Buzzfeed News.

“Uber says it doesn’t know how much drivers on its platform actually earn per hour, after expenses,” reported the news site. “Still, Uber’s internal pricing models, found in the spreadsheets provided to BuzzFeed News, do generate rough estimates of driver net pay. But in internal communications seen by BuzzFeed News, Uber explicitly discourages employees from comparing these estimates to the minimum wage.”

So, instead of relying on Uber’s figures, BuzzFeed conducted an independent analysis of the raw trip data and driver data. And this is what they found:

“Based on these calculations, it’s possible to estimate that Uber drivers in late 2015 earned approximately $13.17 per hour after expenses in the Denver market (which includes all of Colorado), $10.75 per hour after expenses in the Houston area, and $8.77 per hour after expenses in the Detroit market, less than any earnings figure previously released by the company.”

For perspective, a shift manager at McDonald’s earns roughly $9.71 per hour. Yeah, may be time to update that fantasy.

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