Date: May 11, 2021
Contact: Geoff Vetter (916) 634-9051
[email protected]

New Report: More Than 1.2 Million Californians Earned Over $4.2 Billion in Income with App-Based Rideshare and Delivery Platforms During First Year of Pandemic

As more than 1.7 million Californians lost jobs during the pandemic, app-based work remained vital to the state’s economy

Sacramento, CA – A new report compiled by the Protect App-Based Drivers & Services Coalition (formerly the Yes on Proposition 22 Coalition) found that more than 1.2 million app-based drivers in California earned $4.2 billion in income throughout the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. The coalition aggregated figures using individual, California-specific data separately provided by Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, and Instacart.

As California’s economy entered a deep recession resulting from the pandemic, more than 1.7 million Californians lost jobs according to the Employment Development Department. During this period, 800,000 individuals turned to app-based rideshare and delivery services for the first time in order to earn income to help provide for themselves and their families; another 400,000 existing drivers continued earning with these app-based platforms.

In 2020, California voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 22, which economic experts say helped stave off the potential loss of hundreds of thousands of app-based jobs due to disastrous state legislation that threatened driver independence and the viability of app-based services.

The PADS coalition aggregated data from March 1, 2020, to February 28, 2021, the first full year of the pandemic. This new data shows the critical impact of app-based services on California’s economy:

  • 1,280,240 drivers in California utilized app-based platforms to earn income.

  • Of that 1.28 million, 808,469 Californians started driving with app-based rideshare and delivery companies for the first time during the pandemic, demonstrating that app-based platforms were critical to help workers who lost jobs or income, or who needed a new way to earn.

  • $4,223,994,921 in total driver earnings was paid to drivers by app-based platforms during the pandemic. In addition to these earnings, Prop 22 will provide drivers new benefits, like health care, starting in 2021.

“As a single mom to two young boys I was terrified when I lost my job as the pandemic hit,” said Elizabeth Clews, a DoorDash Dasher from Oxnard. “Thankfully, I was able to turn to delivery through DoorDash to replace that lost income. App-based work has been a lifesaver during the pandemic.”

“Doing rideshare and delivery was a great option for me during the pandemic,” said Al Porche, an app-based rideshare and delivery driver from the San Diego area. “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.”

About Protect App-Based Drivers & Services (PADS) Coalition 

The Protect App-Based Drivers & Services (PADS) coalition, formerly the Yes on Prop 22  coalition, is continuing to engage to ensure the will of California voters is upheld; to protect access to independent, app-based jobs; and to preserve the availability, affordability and  reliability of on-demand app-based rideshare and delivery services that are essential to  Californians and our economy.

Proposition 22 was supported by 59% of California voters, 120,000 drivers, and a diverse coalition of more than 140 groups including social justice, senior, community, business, veterans and many others.


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