When we started Solo, we spent most of our time talking face to face (or mask to mask?) with workers across ridesharing, food, grocery and parcel delivery. The message was consistent - the flexibility is great, but the earnings volatility that comes with these jobs is anxiety inducing and difficult to plan around. This often leads to independent workers becoming dissatisfied with their experience and leaving this line of work to go back to a job that may be more predictable, but with lower pay and flexibility.
That’s why the first thing we built was a set of earnings predictions that we were confident enough in to guarantee. Today, we’re going to go deeper on the volatility of earnings in the gig economy and explain a bit more about our Pay Protection program that is designed to help you optimize your time and maximize your earnings.
How volatile are earnings really?
The first question you might be asking yourself is, “how inconsistent could the earnings on these jobs really be?” The answer - very volatile. For example, here are the earnings per hour across Doordash, Uber and Shipt last Tuesday:
Even within each platform, the earnings volatility is pretty dramatic:
- Doordash: Average of $14.82/hr with a low of $5/hr and high of $24/hr
- Uber: Average of $23.13/hr with a low of $13/hr and high of $38/hr
- Shipt: Average of $18.41/hr with a low of $12/hr and high of $31/hr
What makes the calculation for independent workers even more difficult is how the peak earning hours change throughout the day. In the morning - Uber’s your best bet with riders heading to the airport and/or the office. Midday? Doordash hits their peaks around lunch and dinner times. And in the evening? Looks like people need groceries and other items - spiking demand from 5pm-8pm and subsequently increasing earnings for shoppers.
While this can be a lot to juggle - especially given we’re only looking at three of the gig platforms - it can also play to your advantage if you have transparent pay information that allows you to optimize your schedule and maximize your earnings. That's why we created the Pay Prediction and Protection program.
Understanding the data that drives Solo’s predictions
When the community comes together and collectively provides job information we can begin to understand the market rate for pay across not only different jobs & days, but also down to the hour level. This allows every worker to act in their best interests and select work that is best for their schedule (and their earnings!). We crunch the numbers using this real earnings data from the community to show you the highest paying jobs that match your schedule.
To produce the earnings predictions, Solo uses aggregated, historical data from the community, which provides the average estimated earnings per hour you see in the Earnings Forecast tool. However, what’s happened in the past isn’t always indicative of the future, so our formula does adjust and account for anticipated and real time events that could impact the estimated earnings amounts. This way, you get both the consistency of historical trends along with adjustments to reflect the reality of the moment.
How much data drives the predictions? It depends. Some hours we have greater amounts of data and others (especially overnight or off peak hours) we have less. We’re working on adding additional info for you in the app so that you can better understand the range of data points being used to calculate the average hourly earnings.
But we don’t just stop at giving you predictions - we want you to feel secure about your earnings, so we guarantee them.
What is the Pay Protection Program?
Solo’s Pay Protection program guarantees the daily pay estimate that you see in the Earnings Forecast when you schedule, save and work during the hours selected. If you earn less than what Solo predicted during any given scheduled day, we will pay you the difference at the end of the week. What’s even more awesome? It’s free to join!
Once you join the program, following the three easy steps below qualifies you for daily pay protection that not only helps you earn more (see below), but also locks in your earnings.
Will I actually make more using these predictions? How much?
We created the Pay Prediction and Protection program to address both income instability as well as help you earn more by working complimentary peak pay periods. So far, we’ve seen that users who regularly schedule their work days using Solo’s earnings predictions make up to 47% more!
One of our founding members of the Solo community in Seattle, Devin J., recently told us, “Solo maximizes my potential as a driver by providing data on earnings, rush hours and which platforms are performing best. I’ve added new jobs using their pay predictions and am now earning 30% more per hour, guaranteed.”
While we show you the best paying options by hour for the platforms you have access to, we also will show you the earnings for other gig platforms that you qualify for. Using this information, Devin has added three new platforms since joining Solo, which has given him more options when deciding when, where and what job to work.
Our Advice - remove the risk from your daily earnings!
App based or gig jobs unfortunately don’t have a lot of consistency to them. They have variable rates with different peak demand schedules and, not to mention, the neighborhood you’re in can have a big impact on your earnings.
However, if you know when the peak pay periods are for different jobs (see above), you can start to leverage this volatility to your advantage. Solo’s pay predictions not only help you earn more (up to 47% more!), but also lock in your daily income with our Pay Protection program.
Why are we doing this?
Our goal is to provide income stability for workers in the gig economy by eliminating the downside risk associated with flexible work and variable pay. We believe this can be accomplished by providing you with better earnings data that solves the problem of where, when and what job you should work to hit your income goals.
Check Solo out for free to take the anxiety out of gig work, optimize your time and maximize your income.