More lies from Uber?

Uber claims to support 40,000 “jobs”. Let’s examine this. 40,000 jobs generating the minimum wage (£7.50 per hour) – 35 hours per week 52 weeks per year would generate revenues for Uber of £546m p.a. They were estimated to be £115m (see footnote).

OK, the above numbers may be out a bit but not by that much. It means (one or more of) that

  • Uber is under-reporting revenues (and tax)
  • It doesn’t employ 40,000 people – nearer 8,000 (on an FTE basis).
  • 32,000 people that the UK Gov statistics show to be working are in the “gig economy” and that the claims to have near full employment are rubbish. Only 8000 FTE jobs.

Also, an Uber driver working 35 hours a week is only earning £263 a week before tax – not much in London. Since they are allegedly self-employed, the costs of their car etc. have to be deducted. Do they eat?

The numbers simply don’t add up.

I have no axe to grind. I don’t live in London. I have never used Uber. None of my relatives are black cab drivers. I DO know the economics of the taxi business (at least in Germany) – the biggest problem a taxi driver has is “utilisation” – what percentage of the time on shift there is someone in the taxi.

Most taxis run at a fairly low percentage utilisation – 40% is good so applying that to Uber statistics it means that a lot of Uber drivers are working very long hours for very little reward.

I don’t think we really don’t need companies like Uber and Deliveroo.


Revenues=Billings assuming 80:20 Driver:Uber split. These are 31-Dec-15, the latest reported. 

Working 10 hours a week is not a “job”. Gig economy masks “underemployment” and low wages.






One comment

  1. […] According to various reports including Uber themselves, there are 40,000 Uber drivers in London alone which has already served 3.5+ million customers. In counter to these reports an article by johnlewis2013 reports that only 8000 of these 40,000 jobs are in full time employment with Uber. It seems that Uber have a tendency to tell porkies, in the same article John reports that Uber’s predicted revenue (p.a.) was estimated to be £115m, but based on a 35h week on minimum wage (£7.50p/h) the revenue calculates to £546m. […]

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