Gig Economy

Uber’s Gig Platform, Uber Works, Debuts In Miami

And now introducing: Uber Works in Miami.

The ride-hailing giant is extending its relatively new service that leverages the marketplace model to connect buyers and sellers, according to reports.

As the name implies, this time around the focus is on work, where the buyers are employers and the sellers are temporary workers.

The launch into Miami represents the second city where Uber Works takes root, after Chicago, two months ago.

“There’s a lot of demand for skilled workers, especially in entry-level and hospitality sectors,” said Andrey Liscovich, CEO of Uber Works, to the Miami Herald. “For us, this sector is not really new — we’ve been operating in a tight labor market, and it builds on strengths Uber already has.”

The overall premise might be the same as had been seen with the ride-hailing service launched roughly a decade ago. The use cases get a bit of expansion, though, as now the gig work encompasses, say, cooking or helps fill the staffing needs of the hospitality industry, or in industrial sectors. And as the Herald noted, the approval system remains the same — evidenced by the stars that are awarded to drivers as they are rated.

In terms of mechanics, Uber Works, businesses join onto the platform and pay fees as they fill vacancies.  They also disclose the pay rates tied to shifts.

Bloomberg reported that beyond Chicago and Miami, it would expand into new cities next year.

And here’s an important point: Recruits for Uber Works may come from the extant pool of drivers. We note that the ability to “cross-sell” offerings to a pool of customers has been an essential strategy for Uber. It’s been evidenced on the customer side of the business,  where Uber has illuminated its ability to attract and retain customers (at more than 15 million, according to filings) who sample both the ride and the restaurant sides of the business.

Now the idea of “adjacent uptake” (as we might term it) is about to get a test beyond the customer side of the equation. It seems to make sense that gig workers would look to expand the gigs they do.  Adding a new marketplace option to the mix allows gig workers to find another side to a “one-stop-shop” as they fashion a workweek made from various temporary or shift work verticals.  As a recent Gig Economy Index produced in collaboration between PYMNTS and Hyperwallet, more people are pursuing gig work, attracted to its flexibility and nearly 27 percent of gig workers have been sourcing their work through digital marketplaces.

For Uber, along the way, billing and payments likely will keep sticky relationships in place on both the employer/employee sides of the gig economy coin, at what we would presume would be relatively manageable incremental cost.  Call it, then, the platform that spawns platforms, that spawn platforms — a model for the 21st century.

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