Many Americans have relied on gig delivery workers in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic keeps people indoors and out of restaurants and other in-person businesses.
Apps like DoorDash, Uber Eats, Instacart, GrubHub, goPuff, Shipt and others have provided food and grocery delivery jobs to some Americans and convenient service to others.
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The average U.S. gig delivery worker makes $16,923 per year, but that number is significantly higher in some cities, according to a new study from business insurance resource AdvisorSmith based on U.S. Census Bureau data.
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Overall, the three best cities for gig delivery workers, based on earnings and cost of living, are:
1. Beckley, W.Va.
Gig delivery workers in Beckley, a small town located along I-64 and near three universities, earn an average of $28,149 per year. Living costs in the area are also low, making it the best city for gig workers.
2. Tyler, Texas
Tyler is a medium-size city and home to the University of Texas at Tyler. Gig workers there make an average of $31,276 in the city with below-average living costs.
3. Homosassa Springs, Fla.
Homosassa Springs, located north of Tampa, hosts the campus of the College of Central Florida and offers below-average living costs. Gig workers in the city make an average of $28,744 per year.
4. St. Cloud, Minn.
Gig delivery workers in St. Cloud, Minnesota’s 10th most populous city, make an average of $28,920 per year. The city is home to St Cloud University.
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5. Ocala, Fla.
Ocala, located in central Florida, is known as “horse country” and famous for its outdoor attractions while being only about an hour away from Orlando and two hours from Tampa. Gig delivery workers in the medium-size city make $25,592 per year.
6. Prescott, Ariz.
This central Arizona city famous for its bars and live music downtown offers gig delivery workers an average of $28,010 per year.
7. Hartford, Conn.
Gig delivery workers in Hartford, the capital of Connecticut and one of the state’s largest cities, make an average of $26,265 per year.
As one of Florida’s most popular and eclectic cities, Miami offers gig delivery work opportunities for thousands of people who make an average of $19,503 per year.
9. Cheyenne, Wyo.
In Wyoming’s capital and most populous city, drivers make an average of $25,187 per year. Living costs in the city known for its historic attractions and landscape are below average.
10. Greenville, S.C.
Gig workers in this up-and-coming city that hosts several colleges, including Furman University, make an average of $15,482 per year.
HERE’S HOW MUCH THE ONLINE FOOD INDUSTRY IS WORTH
While large cities like New York and Los Angeles present the most opportunities for gig delivery work, they also come with high price tags. AdvisorSmith broke down the data in large and small cities alike to find which cities have the most to offer gig delivery workers.
Among large cities with populations of more than 1 million people, Hartford, Conn., ranked first, followed by Miami; Houston; Memphis, Tenn.; Louisville, Ky.; Birmingham, Ala.; Orlando, Fla.; Indianapolis; Tampa, Fla.; and Cleveland.
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While Tyler, Texas, ranked No. 2 overall, it ranked No. 1 among medium-size cities with populations between 200,000 and 1 million, followed by St. Cloud, Minn.; Ocala, Fla.; Prescott, Ariz.; Greenville, S.C.; Little Rock, Ark.; Syracuse, N.Y.; Flint, Mich.; Knoxville, Tenn.; and Lakeland, Fla.
Beckley, W.Va., ranked first overall and also first on AdvisorSmith’s list of best small cities with populations under 200,000. Following Beckley were Homosassa Springs, which ranked No. 3 overall; Cheyenne, Wyo.; Yuba City, Calif.; Pueblo, Colo.; Redding, Calif.; Punta Gorda, Fla.; Morgantown, W.Va.; Kokomo, Ind.; and Victoria, Texas.