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Revealed, Older Uber Drivers Earn Less Than Younger Drivers

More than ever, older workers have been signing up as rideshare drivers. Some of them don’t want to retire whereas for others it is a way for them to deal with age discrimination when looking for other jobs.

However, recent research shows shows that on certain apps, they’re earning less than younger workers.

Rebecca Diamond, a Stanford University economist who has done research on platforms like Uber says that “There could be a very substantial pay cut per hour, when moving from a career job to something like the gig economy”.

Despite the lack of benefits, plugging into the gig economy has been an attractive option for some older job seekers, because the barriers to entry on many apps have been low.

Diamond, co-authored a recent study that broke down earnings for Uber drivers by age. According to the researchers, 60-year-old drivers earn nearly 10% less per hour than 30-year-old drivers on average.

This is doesn’t mean that Uber pays younger and older drivers differently. As we all know the Uber formula for pay is the same for all workers.

The difference in pay can be easily explained by where older drivers live.

“Older workers live in the suburbs more than younger workers do.If the suburbs pay less, they’re going to sort of have to just accept that” Diamond said.

Obviously suburbs and rural areas typically do pay less, because there’s less demand from riders. Younger drivers are more concentrated in cities, where demand is higher.

Timing is an important factor too. It seems that Older drivers tend to avoid working late at night, when demand can peak with people hailing rides home from restaurants and bars.

Even though it is easy to find the reasons behind these pay disparities, the gap is still notable, because it’s the exact opposite of what happens in more traditional jobs, where there’s a norm that older employees earn more than younger workers.

In the past Uber has pitched itself to older workers as a great way to stay socially engaged, make extra money and control your own schedule.

In one instance it once directly recruited older drivers, offering a $35 incentive to new drivers who signed up through an AARP subsidiary.