Fresno sees increase in rideshare workers amid inflation

Fresno, Calif. (KFSN) — When Kyle Parker realized his family’s income wasn’t going as far as it used to because of inflation, he knew he had to find another way to make ends meet.

“I work an 8 to 5 job,” he said. “I can’t go get another 8 to 5 job, so being able to go do this right after.”

His solution? Driving for Uber.

After he gets off work at 5, he turns his Uber app on, buckles up and the passenger pickups and drop-offs begin.

While Kyle says he has had to sacrifice time away from his family in the evenings, he has added hundreds of dollars of income to their monthly budget.

“This would be the equivalent of making money fall from the sky,” he said.

Kyle is one of many drivers that have picked up a rideshare side gig recently.

According to an Uber spokesperson, the number of drivers in Fresno has nearly doubled since this time last year.

Leo Feler is a Senior Economist at UCLA. He says app-based work for companies like Lyft, Instacart, Grub Hub or TaskRabbit is a simple way for people to offset inflation impacts.

“The average price for groceries increased about 14 percent relative to this time last year,” he said. “For certain items like butter, it’s up 33 percent.”

Feler says research shows most rideshare workers are driving sporadically and inconsistently, based on when they have the time and when they need to earn money.

With the holidays around the corner, Kyle says the ability to make extra cash will allow him to buy his wife a big present for the first time in years.

“I don’t know if she’s going to cry, which would make me cry, but I just hope that I can get her something that makes her feel really happy,” he said.

If you are considering signing up to work for a ride-share service or other app-based work, keep in mind there are background checks and requirements involved.

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