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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios
The American Dream’s promise of a better life if you work hard enough is fracturing.
The big picture: Socioeconomic mobility in the U.S. is at its most sluggish in history. Not only are fewer Americans living better than their parents, but there’s also a growing number of people doing worse than their parents.
By the numbers:
"Most parents expect that their kids will do better than them," says Xi Song, a professor at UPenn and one of the researchers. But now that happens for less than half of kids.
There's a stark racial gap when it comes to mobility, Stanford law professor Ralph Richard Banks writes in a New York Times op-ed.
And mobility depends on where you grow up, too.
The bottom line: Worsening income inequality paired with stagnant socioeconomic mobility is defining today's America. And these trends will impact everything from public health to how people vote in 2020.
The last quarter of 2019 saw a big jump in demand for a bundle of jobs that could dominate the future, per an index tracked by the IT services firm Cognizant.
Why it matters: "The notion that there's gonna be a jobs apocalypse has been with us for the last decade, but the data shows that's not coming to pass," says Rob Brown, VP of Cognizant's Center for the Future of Work.
The backdrop: For over a year, Cognizant has been tracking U.S. hiring for 50 jobs that it deems forward-looking, with statistics going back to 2016 pulled from the Bureau of Labor Statistics via Burning Glass, a jobs database.
But, but, but: There's still a dire lack of job training in the U.S. — a necessary step to prepare workers for the future of work.
Go deeper: Browse the jobs of the future
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
In yet another blow to the cashless revolution, New York City lawmakers passed legislation banning stores from going cash-free this week.
What's happening: Several stores — including Amazon Go, Sweetgreen and Shake Shack — are leading an effort to do away with cash. But cities are fighting back, saying that stores that don't accept cash discriminate against millions of Americans, mostly the poor, elderly and immigrants, who don't use credit cards. New York follows Philadelphia, San Francisco, New Jersey and Massachusetts in banning cashless stores.
By the numbers: Around 30% of all U.S. business is still done in cash, not credit cards. And close to 14 million Americans are unbanked.
The big picture: As we've reported, there's a global race to speed up checkout, with companies betting that cash-free is the future of retail.
What to watch: Cashless stores, like Amazon Go, are adding cash as an option to comply with the bans in big cities. But paying with cash at these high-tech stores that are explicitly built to be cashless adds a lot of hiccups, as a Business Insider reporter discovered.
"The American bathroom is the stage set of the moment," writes the New York Times' Taylor Lorenz.
What's happening: Maybe it's the lighting, maybe it's the privacy, or maybe it's the mirrors. Whatever the secret sauce is, bathrooms are increasingly becoming American teenagers' favorite places to take selfies and film TikTok videos.
Thanks for reading!