High Wage vs. Low Wage: Comparing Economic Recovery in America
- The economic recession caused by COVID-19 has been especially devastating for low wage workers
- While the recession is nearly over for high income earners, fewer than half the jobs lost this spring are back for those making under $20/hr
High Wage vs Low Wage: Different Economic Recoveries
While it’s not uncommon for low wage workers to bear the brunt of an economic recession, this year’s economic collapse has been exceptionally brutal for America’s lower income employees.
Employment rates for high wage workers have bounced back from their spring slump, but unfortunately, the recovery hasn’t been as pronounced for low income workers.
Less than half the jobs lost earlier this year have returned for those making under $20 per hour. To give you a broader perspective, here’s a look at the percent change of employment rates from February through to November 2020:
|Date||High Wage Workers (>$60k)||Low Wage Workers (<$27k)|
|Feb 1, 2020||0.4%||0.2%|
|Mar 1, 2020||2.1%||-0.7%|
|Apr 1, 2020||-9.8%||-23.8%|
|May 1, 2020||-11.5%||-37.0%|
|June 1, 2020||-2.8%||-26.6%|
|July 1, 2020||-2.1%||-20.4%|
|Aug 1, 2020||-2.2%||-19.2%|
|Sept 1, 2020||-0.0%||-19.8%|
|Oct 1, 2020||0.2%||-19.2%|
|Nov 1, 2020||0.0%||-20.0%|
*Note: Percentage changes are compared to U.S. employment rates from January 2020.
As the table above shows, this recession has been tough for low wage workers. But why?
It’s Not You, It’s Your Industry
There are various elements at play, but one key factor driving this unequal recession is the type of work that’s been impacted by the global pandemic.
The sectors that have been most affected, such as accommodation and food services, are the industries that typically employ low wage workers. On the flip side, many high income workers are employed in industries that allow them to work from home.
Although several COVID-19 vaccines are now in sight, a return to “normal” can’t come soon enough for workers in hard-hit industries such as travel, tourism, and food services.
» Interested in learning more about COVID-19’s impact on the U.S. economy? Check out our full article: America’s $2 Trillion Economic Drop, by State and Sector
Where does this data come from?
Source: Opportunity Insights Economic Tracker.
Notes: This tracker was built using anonymized data from several private companies, such as credit card processors and payroll firms.
Network Overload? Adding Up the Data Produced By Connected Cars
By 2025, connected cars could produce 10 exabytes (exabyte = 1B gigabytes) of data per month, a thousand-fold increase over current volumes.
- Connected cars could be producing up to 10 exabytes of data per month, a thousand-fold increase over current data volumes.
- This has serious implications for policymakers, manufacturers, and local network infrastructure.
Modern connected cars are almost like computers on wheels.
Today’s connected cars come stocked with as many as 200 onboard sensors, tracking everything from engine temperature to seatbelt status. And all those sensors create reams of data, which will increase exponentially as the autonomous driving revolution gathers pace.
With carmakers planning on uploading 50-70% of that data, this has serious implications for policymakers, manufacturers, and local network infrastructure.
In this visualization from our sponsor Global X ETFs, we add up the data produced by connected cars.
Data is a Plural Noun
Just how much data could it possibly be?
There are lots of estimates out there, from as much as 450 TB per day for robotaxis, to as little as 0.383 TB per hour for a minimally connected car. This visualization adds up the outputs from sensors found in a typical connected car of the future, with at least some self-driving capabilities.
The focus is on the kinds of sensors that an automated vehicle might use, because these are the data hogs. Sensors like the one that turns on your check-oil-light probably doesn’t produce that much data. But a 4K camera at 30 frames a second, on the other hand, produces 5.4 TB per hour.
|Sensor||Sensors per Vehicle||Data Produced|
|Vehicle Motion, GNSS/GPS, IMU||n/a||<0.1 Mbit/s|
|Total Data||3-40 Gbit/s/vehicle|
All together, you could have somewhere between 1.4 TB and 19 TB per hour. Given that U.S. drivers spend 17,600 minutes driving per year, a vehicle could produce between 380 and 5,100 TB every year.
To put that upper range into perspective, the largest commercially available computer storage—the 100 TB SSD Exadrive from Nimbus—would be full in 5 hours. A standard Blu-ray disc (50 GB) would be full in under 2 seconds.
Lag is a Drag
The problem is twofold. In the first place, the internet is better at downloading than uploading. And this makes sense when you think about it. How often are you uploading a video, versus downloading or streaming one?
Average global mobile download speeds were 30.78 MB/s in July 2022, against 8.55 MB/s for uploads. Fixed broadband is much higher of course, but no one is suggesting that you connect really, really long network cables to moving vehicles.
Ultimately, there isn’t enough bandwidth to go around. Consider the types of data traffic that a connected car could produce:
- Vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V)
- Vehicle-to-grid (V2G)
- Vehicles-to-people (V2P)
- Vehicles-to-infrastructure (V2I)
- Vehicles-to-everything (V2E)
The network just won’t be able to handle it.
Moreover, lag needs to be relatively non-existent for roads to be safe. If a traffic camera detects that another car has run a red light and is about to t-bone you, that message needs to get to you right now, not in a few seconds.
Full to the Gunwales
The second problem is storage. Just where is all this data supposed to go? In 2021, total global data storage capacity was 8 zettabytes (ZB) and is set to double to 16 ZB by 2025.
One study predicted that connected cars could be producing up to 10 exabytes per month, a thousand-fold increase over current data volumes.
At that rate, 8 ZB will be full in 2.2 years, which seems like a long time until you consider that we still need a place to put the rest of our data too.
At the Bleeding Edge
Fortunately, not all of that data needs to be uploaded. As already noted, automakers are only interested in uploading some of that. Also, privacy legislation in some jurisdictions may not allow highly personal data, like a car’s exact location, to be shared with manufacturers.
Uploading could also move to off-peak hours to even out demand on network infrastructure. Plug in your EV at the end of the day to charge, and upload data in the evening, when network traffic is down. This would be good for maintenance logs, but less useful for the kind of real-time data discussed above.
For that, Edge Computing could hold the answer. The Automotive Edge Computing Consortium has a plan for a next generation network based on distributed computing on localized networks. Storage and computing resources stay closer to the data source—the connected car—to improve response times and reduce bandwidth loads.
Invest in the Future of Road Transport
By 2030, 95% of new vehicles sold will be connected vehicles, up from 50% today, and companies are racing to meet the challenge, creating investing opportunities.
Learn more about the Global X Autonomous & Electric Vehicles ETF (DRIV). It provides exposure to companies involved in the development of autonomous vehicles, EVs, and EV components and materials.
And be sure to read about how experiential technologies like Edge Computing are driving change in road transport in Charting Disruption. This joint report by Global X ETFs and the Wall Street Journal is also available as a downloadable PDF.
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