Delivery drivers’ pay surges as demand rockets
Demand for delivery drivers is three times higher than it was during lockdown a year ago, with employers routinely offering bonuses to temporary attract staff, according to new research.
The number of delivery driving shifts posted on the Indeed Flex platform in February was up by 224.5% compared to the same month last year.
The surge in demand for drivers is due in part to the high number of retail sales still being made online. Online shopping made up well over a quarter (27.8%) of total retail sales in February.
While that is down on February 2021, when many high street shops were closed by a nationwide lockdown and over one pound in every three spent with UK retailers was online, it’s still 40% higher than pre-pandemic levels.
But while business demand for delivery drivers has picked up, the dynamics of staffing have shifted since the beginning of last year. Back then, companies found it easier to find temporary drivers when much of the economy was locked down and thousands of retail and hospitality workers sought jobs outside their usual sectors.
However, many of those workers have since returned to their previous roles, leaving a gap between employer demand and the number of workers available to take driving shifts.
Such is the competition between employers that some are now offering cash bonuses of up to £1,500 to temporary workers who complete 40 shifts through Indeed Flex at certain locations.
London has seen the strongest surge in demand for drivers, with the number of shifts being posted in the capital increasing by 167.5% in a year.
Hourly wages for delivery driver shifts in London have risen by 9.3% in the past year, with temporary workers earning £12.63 an hour on average in the capital. Other big cities have seen hourly wages soar. Drivers in Manchester have seen pay packets surge 7.5%.
Novo Constare, COO and Co-founder of Indeed Flex, said: “With Britons’ shopping habits changed for good by the pandemic and thousands of retailers and distribution companies crying out for delivery drivers, anyone considering working behind the wheel is in the driving seat when it comes to finding a job.
“A year on from the UK’s last nationwide lockdown, many of the workers who temporarily switched to delivery driving have boomeranged back to their former jobs in hospitality and retail.
“As a result it’s now a buyer’s market for workers looking for driving shifts, with many employers hiking rates of pay and even offering cash bonuses to tempt recruits.
“Flexible workers have the added benefit of being able to pick and choose the shifts that work best for them, giving them the freedom to fit work around their lifestyle rather than the other way around.”