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The hidden costs of being an Uber driver

These include Uber's commission, petrol, car maintenance, insurance and taxes, among others

Washington

BE your own boss and leave the drudgery of the 9-to-5, Monday-through-Friday work week behind.

Those are the dreams of many workers, especially those who have faced flat wages for years while paying more for essentials such as education, healthcare and housing.

The sharing economy skips over the traditional economy and connects people who need a ride downtown, a leaky roof fixed or a cheap overnight accommodation via a central, online or app-based platform with people who will offer those services.

The most well-known of these platforms - Uber, TaskRabbit and Airbnb - have this in common: They rely on independent contractors. To their self-employed workforces, they offer the prospect of...

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