Richard Drew / AP

Around 3.5 million Americans are employed as cashiers, representing more than 2.5 percent of the workforce. But those jobs are at risk as more and more retailers experiment with automation. LinkedIn Managing Editor Chip Cutter today sounded the alarm, pointing out the country's lack of preparedness for such massive economic dislocation:

"While it's not a high-paying job (the median hourly pay for cashiers nationally is $9.70 per hour), it's an accessible one. People of all ages, skill levels and educational backgrounds can get hired to do the work, often without multiple interviews or even a drug test," Cutter said. "And unlike some occupations, cashier positions can be found across the U.S., not clustered in big cities or on the coasts.In other words, cashiers are everywhere today. But they may soon be nowhere. Are cashiers ready for that? Is the economy?"

Flashback: Last month, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told Axios that humans losing jobs to artificial intelligence applications is "not even on our radar screen."

Counterpoint: Cashier jobs are sometimes compared to bank teller jobs, which have largely leveled off and even climbed in some places after a major culling in the decade following widespread adoption of automated teller machines. The argument goes that ATMs made bank branches cheaper to operate, which led banks to open more branches that still required tellers (albeit fewer than in the past).

Go deeper

Supreme Court rejects request to extend Wisconsin absentee ballot deadline

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court rejected in a 5-3 decision Monday Wisconsin Democrats' request to reinstate an extension of the deadline for counting absentee ballots to six days after Election Day, as long as they're postmarked by Nov. 3.

Why it matters: All ballots must now be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day in Wisconsin, a critical swing state in the presidential election.

Senate confirms Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court

Judge Amy Coney Barrett before a meeting on Capitol Hill on Oct. 21. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/pool/AFP via Getty Images

The Senate voted 52-48 on Monday to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. She is expected to be sworn in within hours.

Why it matters: President Trump and Senate Republicans have succeeded in confirming a third conservative justice in just four years, tilting the balance of the Supreme Court firmly to the right for perhaps a generation.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: The swing states where the pandemic is raging — Pence no longer expected to attend Barrett confirmation vote after COVID exposure.
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day case records last week
  3. Business: Where stimulus is needed most.
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  5. World: Restrictions grow across Europe.
  6. Media: Fox News president and several hosts advised to quarantine.

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