Uber Technologies Inc. announced on Monday a new tool to help drivers affected by novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic find work. What Happened The tool called “Work Hub” has been added to the Uber driver app across platforms, and it is only available in the United States at the time. Uber noted that the pandemic has significantly reduced the demand for rides across the country with people advised to stay at home as much as possible. Drivers on the Uber platforms are considered independent contractors and get paid based on the number of rides they do. The company said the drivers would be able to turn on an option to get drive requests from Uber Eats, Works, and Freight services. Uber said that the tool would ultimately allow the drivers to pick up jobs from other companies. The San Francisco-based tech giant said that it is already working on partnering with Domino’s Pizza Inc., Shipt, and CareGuide. “The most important thing we can do right now is support drivers. They’re doing essential work to keep our communities moving as we fight this virus, but with fewer trips happening they need more ways to earn,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a statement. “With the Work Hub, we hope drivers can find more work opportunities, whether that’s with another of Uber’s businesses, or at another company.” Why It Matter The number of unemployment claims have skyrocketed in the U.S. in the past few weeks due to the pandemic. A number of jobs in travel, hospitality, and related sectors are worst affected, but opportunities in some sectors, like e-commerce and food delivery, have increased. Khosrowshahi wrote to President Donald Trump last month asking the federal government to provide financial aid to Uber drivers affected by the pandemic. The company has said it will provide 14-day financial assistance to any driver diagnosed with COVID-19 or quarantined by authorities as a suspected case. Price Action Uber’s shares closed 13.89% higher at $25.99 on Monday. The shares traded another 4.66% higher at $27.20 in the after-hours session. *Written by Neer Varshney via Benzinga*

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