After Fisher's invention, demand for professional laundresses plunged. Chart: Michael Osborne's Twitter account.

In 1910, a Chicago engineer named Alva J. Fisher was awarded a patent for his invention of Thor, an electric-powered washing machine, and forever made fools of prior bets on the job prospects of professional clothes launderers.

This history came to mind Tuesday for Michael Osborne, an Oxford economist and co-author of perhaps the most-cited contemporary paper on the future of work.

Why it matters: Osborne suggests it shows why forecasts of the jobs future — many of them couched in ultra-certain terms — merit scrutiny.

  • In a tweet, Osborne argued that — if you rely only on data and trends — you might go dreadfully awry forecasting the future of automation and employment.
  • His proof — the fate of laundresses before and after Thor: "Imagine yourself in 1910, trying to forecast the future prospects for laundresses," Osborne said.

That was by explanation why, in his work, he uses both data and expert forecasts, he says in a prior thread of tweets, also on Tuesday.

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Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) announced Tuesday that he would support moving forward with a Senate vote on President Trump's selection to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Why it matters: Barring any big surprises, Democrats have virtually no shot at stopping the confirmation process for the president’s nominee before November’s election.

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Setting the scene: Trump ticked through four years of major decisions and accomplishments in what could be his last address to the UN. But first, he launched into a fierce attack on China as Beijing’s representative looked on in the assembly hall.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 a.m. ET: 31,361,979 — Total deaths: 965,642— Total recoveries: 21,528,674Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 a.m. ET: 6,859,117 — Total deaths: 199,911 — Total recoveries: 2,615,949 — Total tests: 95,841,281Map.
  3. Health: The CDC's crumbling reputation — America turns against coronavirus vaccine.
  4. Politics: Elected officials are failing us on much-needed stimulus.
  5. Business: Two-thirds of business leaders think pandemic will lead to permanent changes — Wall Street fears stimulus is doomed.
  6. Sports: NFL fines maskless coaches.

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