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Don Ryan / AP

The most convincing evidence promoted by automation doomsayers, who argue that we are about to enter an era of mass unemployment, are the roughly 4 million motor-vehicle operator jobs that are put at risk by self-driving car technology.

But Deloitte CEO Cathy Engelbert argues in Quartz that even though her firm predicts that "autonomous vehicle fleets will begin being introduced in 2020," and start doing the jobs of human drivers by the middle of next decade, we shouldn't be overly concerned about the impact of the technology on labor markets.

What today's truck and taxi drivers will do: Engelbert argues that self-driving technology will make getting around cheaper, leaving consumers with more money to spend that will support different types of jobs. These include aid work for the growing elderly populations and jobs in the new "mobility services" sector, with companies that manage fleets of autonomous vehicles, including logistics planning and maintenance.

Trucking's slow decline: Engelbert says that the long-haul trucking industry actually faces a chronic shortage of workers, and that self-driving trucking technology could help alleviate that shortage. "Since [self-driving] vehicles can operate for much longer periods without stopping, fewer total drivers would be needed, helping to alleviate the shortage. The jobs that remain could be less fatiguing and require shorter stints away from home (again, because the truck can operate almost constantly)."

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - World

Mexican President López Obrador tests positive for coronavirus

Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador during a press conference at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, on Wednesday. Photo: Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced Sunday evening that he's tested positive for COVID-19.

Driving the news: López Obrador tweeted that he has mild symptoms and is receiving medical treatment. "As always, I am optimistic," he added. "We will all move forward."

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor of Arkansas

Sarah Huckabee Sanders at FOX News' studios in New York City in 2019. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will announce Monday that she's running for governor of Arkansas.

The big picture: Sanders was touted as a contender after it was announced she was leaving the Trump administration in June 2019. Then-President Trump tweeted he hoped she would run for governor, adding "she would be fantastic." Sanders is "seen as leader in the polls" in the Republican state, notes the Washington Post's Josh Dawsey, who first reported the news.

Coronavirus has inflamed global inequality

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

History will likely remember the pandemic as the "first time since records began that inequality rose in virtually every country on earth at the same time." That's the verdict from Oxfam's inequality report covering the year 2020 — a terrible year that hit the poorest, hardest across the planet.

Why it matters: The world's poorest were already in a race against time, facing down an existential risk in the form of global climate change. The coronavirus pandemic could set global poverty reduction back as much as a full decade, according to the World Bank.