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Alastair Grant / AP

Political, business and technology leaders are turning their attention to the rapidly changing workforce, but they are only beginning to understand what the future of employment looks like and what matters most to workers, several acknowledged at Fortune's Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen.

Why it matters: Our ability to make employment transitions as painless as possible will hinge on our ability to get ahead of these trends. Apparently, we have a long way to go.

What workers care about: Contrary to popular assumptions, most American workers are more concerned about having a stable and consistent income than making more money, said DoorDash CEO Tony Xu, whose company employs independent contractors to make food deliveries.

"We are in a data desert," said Bloomberg Beta chief Roy Bahat in reference to the relative lack of data about employment trends and predictions. He added that much of the data collected by the federal government every year tends to pertain to full-time employees and fails to show trends for other types of workers.

Echoing the sentiment that we need more granular data, former Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker added that "nobody's interested in the average temperature in America."

Basic income: Michael Chui of the McKinsey Global Institute said that redeploying workers is more important than trying to implement a universal basic income, which some believe is the answer to worries about rising joblessness. "If you believe we need [universal basic income] to solve mass unemployment, you need to think about what problems you're trying to solve."

Bloomberg Beta's Bahat had a slightly different take: "It's not a great way to solve mass unemployment, but it is a great way to think about stable income."

Go deeper

Exclusive: GOP Leader McCarthy asks to meet with Biden about the border

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy at CPAC. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has requested a meeting with President Biden to discuss the rising numbers of unaccompanied migrant children at the U.S.-Mexico border, in a letter sent on Friday.

Why it matters: Biden is facing criticism from the right and the left as agency actions and media reports reveal spiking numbers of migrant children overwhelming parts of the U.S. immigration system. Recent data shows an average of 321 kids being referred to migrant shelters each day, as Axios reported.

Vaccine hesitancy drops, but with partisan divide

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

69% of the public intends to get a COVID vaccine or already has, up significantly from 60% in November, according to a report out Friday from the Pew Research Center.

Yes, but: The issue has become even more partisan, with 56% of Republicans who say they want or have already received a coronavirus vaccine compared to 83% of Democrats.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

China's 5-year plan is hazy on climate

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

China's highly anticipated 5-year plan revealed on Friday provides little new information about its climate initiatives, leaving plenty to discuss in multinational meetings this year and lots of blanks for China to fill in later.

Driving the news: The top-line targets for 2025, per state media, aim to lower energy intensity by 13.5% and carbon emissions intensity by 18% — that is, measures of energy use and emissions relative to economic output.