By Jeong Park
Nearly 1.3 million Californians worked for apps such as Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and Instacart during the pandemic, according to a report compiled by the Protect App-Based Drivers & Services Coalition, made up of companies and organizations that lobby for the services and their “independent, app-based jobs.”
Those workers earned more than $4.2 billion in income from those apps from March 1, 2020, to Feb. 28, 2021, according to the report. More than 800,000 Californians started working for those apps for the first time during the pandemic, the report said.
“Doing rideshare and delivery was a great option for me during the pandemic,” Al Porche, an app-based rideshare and delivery driver from the San Diego area, said in the coalition’s press release rolling out the report. “Driving when, where, and for how long I wanted to, helped me stay afloat throughout the recession. As California starts to reopen, I plan to continue doing this type of work because of the flexibility and earning potential it offers.”
The report comes as California and the nation continue to face questions over how to classify gig workers, even after the passage of Proposition 22 which generally exempted them from the California law that requires businesses to give employment benefits to more workers.
Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor revoked a Trump-era rule which would have made it easier for those companies to classify their workers as independent contractors for the purpose of federal laws and benefits.