The “Attrition Rate” Criticism of Uber Makes No Sense

This unfounded “criticism” has come up again and again and again since the publication of Hall Krueger on January 22, 2015.

On page 16, Figure 6: Continuation Rate for U.S. Drivers Over the Course of a Year

details that approximately 50% of Uber drivers remained active a year after starting.

On page 8, Table 1: Characteristics of Uber’s Driver-Partners, Taxi Drivers and All Workers

details the values of 20 demographic characteristics across these three categories of workers.

On page 20, Table 4: Distribution of Uber’s Driver-Partners and Taxi Drivers and Chauffeurs by Hours Worked

compares the significant difference between average length of work week for Uber drivers and drivers who work as taxi drivers and chauffeurs AS A CAREER

1-15 hours per week
51% of Uber drivers
4% of taxi drivers and chauffeurs

16-34 hours per week
30% of Uber drivers
15% of taxi drivers and chauffeurs

35-49 hours per week
12% of Uber drivers
46% of taxi drivers and chauffeurs

50 or more hours per week
7% of Uber drivers
35% of taxi drivers and chauffeurs

From page 10:

“Uber’s driver-partners fall into three roughly equal-sized groups:
driver-partners who are partnering with Uber and have no other job (38 percent),
driver-partners who work full-time on another job and partner with Uber (31 percent), and driver-partners who have a part time job apart from Uber and partner with Uber (30 percent)”

From the Abstract on the first page of the Hall Krueger study:

“…Uber [drivers] appear to be attracted to the platform in large part because of the flexibility it offers, the level of compensation, and the fact that earnings per hour do not vary much with hours worked, which facilitates part-time and variable hours.

Uber’s driver-partners are more similar in terms of their age and education to the general workforce than to taxi drivers and chauffeurs.

Uber may serve as a bridge for many seeking other employment opportunities, and it may attract well-qualified individuals because, with Uber’s star rating system, driver-partners’ reputations are explicitly shared with potential customers.

Most of Uber’s driver-partners had full- or part-time employment prior to joining Uber, and many continued in those positions after starting to drive with the Uber platform, which makes the flexibility to set their own hours all the more valuable.

Uber’s driver-partners also often cited the desire to smooth fluctuations in their income as a reason for partnering with Uber.”

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