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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
A swath of millions of Americans have been jobless for a year or more — the hard-core unemployed. Among the causes for their stubborn joblessness are lack of skills, drug habits and felony records.
But there is another, largely overlooked reason: Many of these unemployed people simply can't — or won't — get where the jobs are.
Erica writes: Increasing numbers of experts say the concentration of wealth in big cities, along with the rise of automation, is putting low-wage jobs out of the physical reach of workers.
Both workers and employers are getting hit.
As we've reported, about 13 million working-age people in the U.S. are unemployed, involuntarily working part time or have wholly given up on the job hunt. The problem, though, isn't a lack of jobs — employers complain that they can't fill open positions — but a slew of barriers.
A new report from the Urban Institute analyzed 2017 application data across several types of low-wage, hourly jobs in 16 major U.S. cities, looking at the mismatch between openings and job seekers by zip code.
"These are people who are looking to enter the job market, and if they can't find it feasible from a transportation or cost or distance perspective, that's saying that there are significant barriers in place."— Joseph Kane, Brookings Institution
What's happening: Poorer city residents live in the "last-subway-stop" parts of cities, a couple of hours, or farther, from work — and they either can't afford to or don't want to move.
Another bucket of low-wage jobs, those in factories or warehouses, have the opposite problem. Companies like Amazon are building their warehouses far away from city centers, close to airports and highways and away from major public transit lines. They can be difficult to access without a car, says Brookings' Kane.
The solution is twofold, Christina Stacy, lead author of the Urban Institute report, tells Axios. Cities need to revisit train and bus lines and build affordable housing closer to downtown. "Until we figure out how to make every job a high-quality job, connecting people to a job is crucial," says Stacy.
A doctor points out a fracture to a patient, Kemmling, Colorado, 1948. Photo: W. Eugene Smith/LIFE/Getty
One thing artificial intelligence excels at is making predictions from patterns in huge troves of data. In medicine, it's a big strength, potentially allowing doctors to punch through and recommend much better medicine or procedures to treat their patients.
Axios' Eileen Drage O'Reilly reports: Several researchers published a paper today in the influential journal Science calling for new standards for safety and effectiveness before AI algorithms are approved for use on humans.
"If these tools are going to be used to determine patient care ... they should meet standards of clinical benefit, just as the majority of our drugs and diagnostic tests do."
Go deeper: Read Eileen's full story
On our story about Fortune 500 companies owing no taxes:
"I am concerned that the article may suggest to certain individual taxpayers that they have been treated less than fairly by the Trump tax cut. For example, the refund claimed by General Motors is the result of net operating loss (NOL) carryovers from previous years, and not so much new (and undeserved) tax ‘breaks’ from the tax cut.
The NOL deduction intends that a taxpayer with fluctuating income over a period of years not pay more federal income tax than a taxpayer with a relatively constant level of income. For GM, and many other companies, the tax cut reduced the amount of claimed refunds."— J. Leon Peace, Jr., Silver Spring, Maryland
On our story about keeping AI away from the bad guys:
"Really great stuff on AI. But as we suppress dual-use AI technology, the Chinese will of course put it to the worst possible use as fast as possible, both internally and for globally disruptive purposes. I think that’s the real dilemma."— Ed Bergan, Davidson, North Carolina
The made in the USA comeback (Rana Foroohar — FT)
How to crack down on surprise medical bills (Caitlin Owens — Axios)
A philosopher argues AI can't make art (Sean Dorrance Kelly — MIT Tech Review)
The life story of your supermarket chicken (Robyn Metcalfe — WSJ)
When kids find their whole lives online (Taylor Lorenz — The Atlantic)
Back when emojis weren't a problem. Photo: Howard Sochurek/LIFE/Getty
In a California courtroom last week, prosecutors were trying to prove that a man caught in a prostitution sting was guilty of pimping. Part of their evidence was a string of emojis, reports The Verge.
Erica writes: The prosecution put an Instagram direct message between the defendant and a woman in front of the judge. The message read, "Teamwork makes the dream work 👠💰," which lawyers said implied a transactional relationship. But the defendant argued the relationship was romantic.
The big picture: It's difficult to decipher what exactly emojis mean — and they rarely sway a jury, per The Verge — but these symbols are becoming increasingly common in court cases. Eric Goldman, a Santa Clara University law professor, told The Verge that just over 30% of all court cases in 2018 had some reference to emojis or emoticons.