Company Updates

The Instacart Effect: More Grocery Jobs for Women, Seniors, and Workers Without Higher Education

Sarah Fleisch

Sarah Fleisch

Sep 20, 2022

In recent years, economic studies have revealed the positive impact Instacart has had on the U.S. brick-and-mortar grocery industry and the American economy, showing that we’ve helped increase total U.S. grocery revenue by $6.4 billion and created more than 186,000 additional jobs in the grocery industry since 2012.

What we didn’t know was who was benefiting from those additional jobs — until now. 

New research released today by Dr. Robert Kulick of National Economic Research Associates, Inc (NERA) shows that a disproportionately large number of those 186,000 grocery jobs — from cashiers to bakers to deli workers — have gone to underrepresented and economically disadvantaged populations, including women, seniors, and workers without college degrees. 

For example, the research found that Instacart has created 113 jobs for women for every 100 jobs created for men, representing 12% greater female representation than in the grocery industry overall (101 jobs for women per 100 jobs for men) and 19% greater than in the U.S. economy at large (95 jobs per 100). Since its founding in 2012, Instacart has helped create nearly 100,000 grocery jobs for women.

Similarly, senior workers (65+) account for 15% of the grocery jobs created by Instacart, compared to 7% for the grocery industry overall and 6% representation in the broader U.S. economy. 

Workers without higher education accounted for 95% of jobs created by Instacart — compared to 86% for the industry overall and 77% across the broader economy. These employment opportunities with lower barriers to entry are especially important during difficult economic times — including the current retraction that started with the pandemic — as jobs for workers without higher education are harder to come by, research shows.

“Our analysis shows that Instacart has not only created new employment opportunities in the grocery industry, but in the process, the company has increased the representation of women, seniors and non-college-educated individuals across the sector’s workforce,” Dr. Kulick said. “This Instacart Effect — the causal relationship between Instacart’s growth and the growth of the grocery industry — is greatly benefiting grocers, workers, customers, and local economies.” 

We’re proud to help our retail partners serve their customers, grow their businesses, and create local jobs, and are humbled by the NERA research. We’re excited to continue helping grocers expand the important impact they make in their communities every day. 

Sarah Fleisch

Sarah Fleisch

Sarah Fleisch is the Senior Director of Policy Research & Development at Instacart. In this role, she leads the development of Instacart’s core policy positions and proactive policy agenda. Sarah has a background in workplace policy, with a focus on public policy, job quality and women and the workforce. Prior to Instacart, Sarah worked at the National Partnership for Women & Families, and before that was an associate in the labor and employment practice group of a large D.C. law firm.

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