With almost a decade of presence in Mexico, the digital mobility platforms and food delivery are responsible for at least 60% of the growth of self-employment and, at the same time, an increase in the earnings of the delivery drivers four times higher than the growth of the average income of all employed persons in the country.
According to the report Home delivery platforms in the Mexican economy, carried out by the CIDE National Public Policy Laboratory and the MX Internet Association, since 2012, when the first digital platform began to operate in the country, self-employment has increased by 150 percent. Thus, it is estimated that currently 243,794 people work as delivery men in applications and by 2025 85,000 more could be added to this occupation.
“One of the most important groups of actors, whose participation is vital for the success of the delivery platforms, is the one made up of the delivery people. This is a group of economic agents who choose this occupation, either as their only occupation or as a secondary one. The flexibility offered by this type of platform makes it attractive for both groups of distributors ”, highlights the study.
But the increase in the number of self-employed workers is only part of the impact of the digital platforms. In terms of income, since 2012 the work by application shows a growth of 117% in the earnings of the distributors, which contrasts with the 25% increase that the perceptions of all the employed in the country have had.
“The income of the distributors has a greater fluctuation and that is thanks to the flexibility, that flexibility that distributors value extremely and that allows them to decide how many hours to connect a day, to how many platforms to connect and how many days to connect, generates this fluctuation that is not observed in the rest of the employed who must comply with an established day, “said Víctor Carreón, researcher at the National Public Policy Laboratory.
In 2005, the perceptions of the entire workforce were twice those of a delivery person. With the operation of the platforms, the gap was closing and in 2019 the income of people who work in applications exceeded the average salary of those employed in Mexico.
Until 2020, the average monthly income of the distributors was 3,901 pesos, slightly higher than the minimum wage in force in that period and comparable to the 4,658 pesos that the employed received on average. This difference is due to a drop in the perceptions of the distributors due to the impact of the pandemic, which generated a growth in this occupation condition and, consequently, greater competition.
“For 2019, the average income of delivery men It was higher than the average income of the total employed. This trend changed slightly in 2020 due to the pandemic. The fall in economic activity led to layoffs in practically all occupations. Many of these people were employed as couriers, generating competition among them, which caused a moderate drop in the average income of couriers, but with a higher level of occupancy ”, the report highlights.
In general terms, full-time delivery men Those who participated in the study highlighted that the activity helps them to generate enough income to cover their needs, while those who work part-time indicated the generation of earnings complementary to salaries in their main jobs as the main benefit.
In this sense, Víctor Carreón pointed out that one of the dominant arguments around the advantages of working through applications is the flexibility. However, there are concerns around transparency.
“They are concerned that there is no information available as to how all this profit that is being generated in the economy is distributed and all of them reflect that all they have are perceptions and are perceptions they do not necessarily reflect what is happening in reality. They also point out a technical issue, they would like to know how the algorithm works to know how orders and routes are assigned ”, said the researcher.