The New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) has announced a new minimum wage of $17.96 per hour, effective from July 12th, for food delivery workers. This is a significant victory for gig economy workers in the city and will increase their current minimum wage of $7.09 per hour. The new pay rate will increase to $19.96 on April 1st, 2025, making it a near-tripled base pay for more than 60,000 food delivery workers in the city, with annual inflation-adjusted raises.
The Significance of the Pay Increase
The pay increase is a historic victory for delivery workers, who have been denied a living wage for years. Ligia Guallpa, executive director of the Worker’s Justice Project, said in an email to The Verge, “We’re proud to have secured this historic victory for delivery workers. New York City’s more than 65,000 app-based food delivery workers will finally get the pay increase they deserve, allowing them to better support themselves and their families.”
Kazi Fouzia, director of organizing for Desis Rising Up & Moving (DRUM), said, “We welcome this wage increase that many of our members organized for, so that this city begins to properly value the delivery workers’ labor, their experiences, and risks.”
The Details of the Pay Increase
Apps can either pay workers per trip, per hour worked, or come up with their own formula, so long as the result is a minimum pay of $17.96 per hour on average (up to $19.96 by April 2025). The pay rate works out in 2023 to 30 cents per minute before tips for hourly workers or, if an app only pays by active trip minutes, approximately 50 cents per minute of trip time.
DoorDash’s estimate only works if you don’t count the time Dashers are waiting idly, which the DCWP found is about 40 percent (PDF) of their workday. The new minimum wage comes after years of organized efforts by groups like Los Deliveristas Unidos and the Worker’s Justice Project to increase their pay. Originally, it would have been $25 per hour, but that was lowered by the DCWP in March to account for delivery workers making trips for multiple apps at a time.
Reaction from Companies
DoorDash public affairs manager Eli Scheinholtz said in an email to The Verge, “Given the broken process that resulted in such an extreme final minimum pay rule, we will continue to explore all paths forward — including litigation — to ensure we continue to best support Dashers and protect the flexibility that so many delivery workers like them depend on.”
The DCWP found that delivery workers spend about 40% of their workday waiting idly. DoorDash’s estimate only works if you don’t count the time Dashers are waiting idly, which means someone who spends six hours of a 10-hour shift on trips would end up with just under $20 per hour.
The new minimum wage increase is a significant victory for gig economy workers in New York City, who have been fighting for a living wage for years. The pay increase will allow them to better support themselves and their families. However, companies such as DoorDash have expressed concerns about the broken process that resulted in the new minimum pay rule and are exploring all paths forward, including litigation. The DCWP found that delivery workers spend about 40% of their workday waiting idly, which means the actual hourly pay could be lower than DoorDash’s estimate.