November 9, 2017
The Lyft Economy: it’s a Side Job
Driving around major U.S. cities, it seems like every other car has a Lyft or Uber logo in the back windshield.
These ride-sharing apps are prominent players in the increasingly popular “platform economy,” which links sellers with buyers of their goods and services, from used couches and basement junk to handymen and car rides. This is one corner of the fast-growing gig economy, which also includes freelancers and the self-employed.
But who takes on these jobs, are they long-term or short-term endeavors, and how reliant are participants on the income they generate through online platforms or apps?
Scouring its database of transactions in the bank accounts of 240,000 bank customers who participate in the platform economy, the JP Morgan Chase & Co. Institute has put together a completely anonymous but interesting profile of the participants in this ever-present, but little-understood part of the economy.
Despite a proliferation in platforms, Fiona Greig, director of research at the JP Morgan Institute, said it’s fairly clear from these data this usually is not U.S. workers’ first choice for earning a living. Most people, “are not relying heavily on this,” she said. While users have to sell their wares on a piece-rate basis, “the flexibility that this offers makes for the perfect opportunity to add income.” …Learn More