As the government shutdown drags into its 33rd day and counting, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said the company has seen furloughed employees turning to Uber for work in recent weeks, CNBC reports. “We love it when new driver partners join the platform, but this is most definitely not how we want new driver partners to join the platform,” Khosrowshahi said. “We haven’t quantified [how many drivers], but it’s definitely happening in D.C., and it’s happening to the most needy. We’re hoping that this ends.”
Khosrowshahi noted that getting started on Uber is relatively easy, requiring only a license, a clean driving record, and an approved vehicle. “One of the benefits of Uber is that for people who are displaced temporarily — if they lose their job, if something happens and they need some earnings opportunities — Uber is there. And then when they don’t need Uber, they can kind of move on,” he said.
A study in 2018 found that over half of Uber drivers make less than minimum wage, with a median profit of around $8.55 per hour – which if you’ve spent the last month working for no pay is, obviously, better than nothing. But still, as Khosrowshahi notes, it isn’t a proper fix.