Brazil has 1.5 million delivery motorcyclists, app and taxi drivers

Most are black or brown men under 50 years old

Published in 11/05/2022 - 12:58 By Mariana Tokarnia - Repórter da Agência Brasil - Rio de Janeiro

Approximately 1.5 million people work with passenger transport and goods delivery in Brazil, according to data released on Tuesday (Apr. 10) by the Institute for Applied Economic Research (Ipea). Most of them - 61.2 percent - are app or taxi drivers, 20.9 percent deliver goods on motorcycles, and 14.4 percent are motorcycle taxi drivers.

These workers are part of the so-called gig economy, in which companies hire employees - mainly through apps- to carry out sporadic work with no employment relationship. Workers are freelancers.

According to data from last year, there are 945,000 app and taxi drivers in the country, 322,000 goods delivery motorcyclists, 222,000 motorcycle taxi drivers, and 55,000 workers who use other means of transport to deliver products.

The study shows that most of these workers are male, black or brown, and under 50 years of age, and are concentrated in the Brazilian Southeast Region. The North and Northeast regions have the largest number of motorcycle taxi drivers in the country.

As for education, more than 10 percent of the app and taxi drivers, 5.6 percent of motorcycle delivery workers, and 2.1 percent of motorcycle taxi drivers have higher education. In this last group, 60.1 percent have not finished high school.

Variations in income

Ipea survey shows that, between 2016 and 2021, the number of goods delivery motorcyclists increased from 25,000 to 322,000, a number that did not decrease during the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of app and taxi drivers, however, dropped from 1.121 million in 2019, before the pandemic, to 782 thousand in 2020. In 2021, the number grew to 945 thousand.

The highest average income for app and taxi drivers stands at around BRL 1,900 ($ 369 dollars). In 2016 the average stood at BRL 2.7 thousand ($ 525 dollars).

Goods delivery motorcyclists have an average income of approximately BRL 1,500 ($ 291 dollars) per month. This value has remained stable since 2020. Motorcycle taxi drivers' income corresponded to BRL 1,000 ($ 194 dollars) in 2016. In 2021 it went down to BRL 900 ($ 175 dollars). This is the only gig economy subgroup in the transport sector with an income below the minimum wage, which stood at BRL 1,212 ($ 235 dollars) in 2021.



Translation: Mário Nunes -  Edition: Nádia Franco

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