Figuratively Speaking For January 02, 2018

Americans' average debt amount in 2017, according to a study by GOBankingRates: $140,113

Percentage of respondents who had mortgage debt, the most common form of household debt: 65

Percentage who had medical debt, the least common: 21

Source: GoBankingRates.com.

Percentage of teen drivers who say they are just as good at driving as their parent or guardian, according to a Hum by Verizon survey: 57

Percentage who admitted to having felt unsafe on the road: 72

Percentage who cited getting into an accident as their No. 1 concern on the road: 77

Percentage of teen drivers who wish they had learned more about how to drive safely in ice, snow and wet weather: 51

Percentage who wish they had learned more about how to change a tire: 47

Percentage who wish they knew how to jump-start a battery: 44

Source: Hum by Verizon.

Percentage of brand share among existing smartphone units that is owned by Apple, according to Parks Associates research: 47

Percentage owned by Samsung: 29

Source: Parks Associates.

By 2020, projected percentage of American workers who will be independent contractors, according to a study by Intuit: 40

Percentage hiring increase in gig workers (a contractor/temporary worker) over the past six months, according to a survey by the nonprofit small business association SCORE: 37

Percentage increase in the hiring of part-time employees in the past six months: 22

Sources: Intuit and SCORE.

Percentage of parents who save money for the holidays, according to the ninth annual T. Rowe Price Parents, Kids & Money Survey: 73

Percentage of holiday-savers who start to put money away right after the previous year's holiday season: 48

Percentage of parents using credit cards to pay for holiday purchases who pay them off within six months: 90

Source: T. Rowe Price.

During the year, percentage of Americans who donated time to a charitable cause, according to a survey by Toluna: 28

Percentage who donated money: 31

Percentage who have donated clothing: 48

Percentage of respondents who have committed a random act of kindness for someone else (aka "paying it forward"): 60

Percentage who have paid for someone else's groceries when they didn't have enough money: 34

Source: Toluna QuickSurveys.

Average cost to a company for every bad hire last year, according to a CareerBuilder survey: $14,900

Average cost of losing a good hire: $29,600

Percentage of employers who say they've hired the wrong person for a position: 74

Ranks of "less productivity" (37 percent), "lost time to recruit and train another worker" (32 percent) and "compromised quality of work" (31 percent) on the list of ways bad hires affected business, as cited by employers: 1, 2, 3

Source: CareerBuilder.com.

Percentage of employees who report being in the high-stress category, according to the 2017 StressPulseSM survey, released by ComPsych: 59

Percentage of employees who see accomplishing basic tasks as the top work priority: 56

Percentage who say workload is their primary cause of stress: 39

Percentage who say people issues are the top work stressors: 31

Percentage who cite juggling work and personal life: 19

Source: ComPsych Corp.

Estimated percentage of their week that American children are spending online, according to a survey commissioned by Sugru: 30

Number of hours in a week that children spend on creative offline hobbies, such as drawing, painting, crafting and DIY projects: 10

Percentage of parents who feel it's still important for kids to learn creative hands-on skills: 79

Percentage who wish their kids were more creative: 40

Percentage of parents who believe creative kids grow to become more successful, well-balanced adults: 70

Source: Sugru.

Idle Thought

"All human beings should try to learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why." -- James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at johnmacintyre@bwr.eastlink.ca.)

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