Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Money Makers: Best and Worst States for Rideshare Drivers


A new ranking has revealed the best and worst states for Uber drivers, with Minnesota named America’s top location for rideshare services. 


High Rise Financial pulled together the ranking that scored each state across four key areas: drivers’ earning potential, average journey fares, customer demand, and living costs. 


Earning potential is based on the mean hourly wages taxi drivers report to the Bureau for Labor Statistics. Customer demand compared the number of drivers in each state to the local population, to see which area is overserviced by rideshare services. 


Average fares looked at the typical per-mile price customers must pay for their journey, while living costs measured drivers’ annual income to the current living wage for each state. 


And it turns out that the Land of 10,000 Lakes is where rideshare drivers should prioritize trips, as they stand to make a decent wage when servicing a large pool of customers. 


The hourly mean wage for rideshare drivers in Minnesota stands at $16.71 - and despite this being lower than the reported national average ($20.15), it’s still a huge 52% higher than what Uber drivers make in the lowest-earning state, South Carolina ($10.97). 


This goes a long way compared to current living costs, as an Uber driver’s annual salary of $40.1k is considerably higher (9%) than the state’s current living wage of $36.9k. 


The state also benefits from comparatively low journey fares, with users expected to pay $2.59 per mile. This means a trip from the state’s iconic William A Irvin Museum to the must-see Split Rock Lighthouse will cost you $123 without a tip. 


Although this seems high, it’ll be attractive to out-of-state customers who are used to more expensive rates, as the same journey would set you back $309 in New York ($6.53 p/m).


The state also ranked second for driver competition, meaning that there’s a smaller ratio of rideshare drivers to the state’s population when compared to other areas - including Nevada, where there are a huge 98% more full-time drivers than there are in Minnesota. 


Overall, Minnesota scored 7.9 /10 in the ranking, with living costs being the main reason it landed the top spot. On the other end of the scale, Wisconsin scored 4.5 /10.


The best ten states for Uber drivers 


  1. Minnesota - 7.9 /10
  2. Michigan - 7.7 /10
  3. Oklahoma - 7.2 /10
  4. Iowa - 6.8 /10
  5. New Hampshire - 6.1 /10
  6. Washington - 6 /10
  7. Colorado - 5.9 /10
  8. California - 5.8 /10
  9. Illinois - 5.7 /10
  10. New Jersey - 5.6 /10

Regarding which state provides the best value to customers, the data reveals that it’s Oklahoma, with an average rate of $2.41 per mile, while Minnesota ranked second at $2.59.


Meanwhile, the state that’s best for drivers’ financial security is New Hampshire, as the typical full-time driver reportedly stands to make $5.57k above the living wage of $36k.  


The worst ten states for Uber drivers 

  1. Wisconsin - 4.5 /10
  2. Oregon - 4.7 /10
  3. New Mexico - 4.7 /10
  4. New York - 4.7 /10
  5. Missouri - 4.9 /10
  6. Kentucky - 5 /10
  7. Massachusetts - 5.1 /10
  8. Maine - 5.1 /10
  9. Nevada - 5.1 /10
  10. Maryland - 5.1 /10

Wisconsin was dragged down by its regional competition, with a higher ratio of rideshare drivers to customers and a higher fare rate of $3.47 per mile - 34% higher than Minnesota.


There’s not a huge margin between the top ten and the bottom ten states, with the category that the nation’s Uber drivers performed worst in being market competition due to a high saturation of drivers versus users and the best category coming out as living costs.


The states that provide less financial security to Uber drivers - or where there’s more competition - are more likely to see drivers avoid taking time off to mitigate lost earnings, as data also shows the typical driver had to take 14 days off to recover from injuries last year. 


Based on the national average hourly wage for Uber drivers ($20.15) and reported 15.4 hours put in per week, this injury leave equates to a huge $620 in lost earnings last year. 


For Uber drivers in Washington, these two weeks off equate to $592 in lost earnings, while South Carolina drivers will only lose $337, based on hourly pay rates.


Speaking about the findings, a High Rise Financial spokesperson said: “In highly competitive jobs like rideshare driving, employees are more likely to avoid taking time off work even if it’s drastically needed, or will rush back to work before they’re ready to reduce their losses.


“Without a fixed number of days available for sick leave per year, many workers - particularly those working on a part-time or self-employed basis - may avoid addressing an injury altogether to avoid taking time off, which can result in legal implications for employers.”



Data gathered from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Google Maps and YouGov. 

Post courtesy of highriselegalfunding.com. 

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