Unemployment within the US stays stubbornly excessive at 6.three %. Job progress has stalled, with 9.6 million fewer jobs in January than the identical month a 12 months earlier. However gig firms say they’re having bother discovering individuals to drive, choose up, and ship for them.
“I’m frightened about one factor going into the second half of the 12 months: Are we going to have sufficient drivers to satisfy the demand that we’re going to have?” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi instructed an analyst final month. DoorDash chief monetary officer Prabir Adarkar referred to as the scenario “a story of two cities,” with hordes of recent prospects racing to order takeout however fewer drivers providing to ship it. DoorDash orders greater than tripled within the final a part of 2020, in contrast with the identical interval a 12 months earlier.
The looming driver scarcity confounds executives’ predictions. “With document unemployment, we anticipate driver provide to outstrip rider demand” for the “foreseeable future,” Lyft CEO Logan Inexperienced stated in Might. For a time early within the pandemic, Lyft blocked new drivers from signing up. It was comprehensible, as a result of right this moment’s tech gig firms have been born in the course of the Nice Recession. They benefited from a deep pool of staff newly outfitted with smartphones and all of a sudden in want of supplemental earnings.
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