Re: I know it's a small sample but....
"I see a pattern emerging in the drivers engaged."
It's quite common for immigrants, especially those that have arrived as refugees, to end up driving taxis or in similar low pay/low skill work.
This is not because they're ignorant or lazy, in my experience, but because they have often left highly paid professional positions in their home country and their qualifications are not accepted in their new country. This can be because of things like academic and work records lost/destroyed, lack of the requisite language skills to practice their profession in their new home or simply that their alma mater is not recognised in their new country as a 'proper' university.
As a fairly regular taxi user I've encountered a number of drivers who had jobs with a somewhat higher status and pay rate before what ever happened, happened. I suspect there's a huge resource of untapped sjkills out there that could be harnessed if a bit more effort was put into helping these people become compliant with the qualification requirements in their new country.