But they use 57% of their earnings to pay for primary expenses.
In 20 of Lyft’s main U.S. markets, 82% of drivers spend less than 20 hours per week working for Lyft, the company found as part of a newly released study focused on the company’s economic impact.
Lyft’s research also found that 26% of drivers own a small business and 74% said they use their earnings from Lyft to support those small businesses. Lyft worked with Land Econ Group, a San Francisco-based economic research firm, and surveyed 38,000 passengers and 15,000 drivers.
Additionally, the survey revealed that on average, 57% of drivers’ earnings from Lyft are used toward primary life expenses, which supports the common perception that despite many drivers spending only a few hours per week on the job, a majority of their earnings supplement other income that isn’t enough to make ends meet.
“We found that the drivers are middle to lower income [and] below the federal median by 10% to 12%,” Land Econ Group Bill Lee told Fortune.
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In 2016, Lyft said it has paid out $1.5 billion in earnings to drivers, including $100 million in tips from passengers.
Other data about driver demographics from the survey include: 66% self-identify with minority groups, 27% are women, 25% are 50 years old and over, 44% have at least one child in their household, 10% are veterans, and 40% are caretakers for family or friends. Also, 82% employed or seeking employment, 6% are students, and 5% are retired.
The report also looked at the so-called economic impact of Lyft, and found that Lyft passengers have saved $511 million in travel time value in 2016 by using the service, which was calculated using guidelines from the U.S. Department of Transportation. “I think probably the most significant contribution of Lyft is that it saves time for passengers,” said Lee.
This is Lyft’s second time publishing this annual survey, and the company plans to continue expanding its scope, Lyft head of policy research Peter Gigante told Fortune. Find the entire report here.
An earlier version of this story incorrectly interpreted Lyft’s data that 57% of driver earnings go to primary expenses. The story has been updated.