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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

Trump bump: NYT and WaPo digital subscriptions tripled since 2016

Data: Axios reporting and public filings; Chart: Axios Visuals

The New York Times and The Washington Post have very different strategies for building the subscription news company of the future.

The big picture: Sources tell Axios that the Post is nearing 3 million digital subscribers, a 50% year-over-year growth in subscriptions and more than 3x the number of digital-only subscribers it had in 2016. The New York Times now has more than 6 million digital-only subscribers, nearly 3x its number from 2016.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
33 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Biden's emerging climate orbit

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

As of Tuesday morning, we know a lot more about President-elect Joe Biden climate personnel orbit, even as picks for agencies like EPA and DOE are outstanding, so here are a few early conclusions.

Why it matters: They're the highest-level names yet announced who will have a role in what Biden is promising will be a far-reaching climate and energy agenda.

Janet Yellen is back

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Hannelore Foerster/Getty Images

A face familiar to Wall Street is back as a central player that this time will need to steer the country out of a deep economic crisis.

Driving the news: President-elect Joe Biden is preparing to nominate former Fed chair Janet Yellen to be Treasury secretary.