Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For February 17, 2008

Percentage of baby boomers who said they are doing financial planning and that their goals are set and on track, according to a survey by KeyBank and Zogby International: 51

Percentage who believe they will or could run out of money in their lifetime: 67

Source: Keycorp.

Percentage of Americans who believe U.S. foreign policy is driving dissatisfaction with America abroad, according to a poll by the non-profit organizations World Learning and the Aspen Institute: 75

Percentage of Americans who are very or somewhat worried that the U.S. is losing the trust and friendship of other countries: 73

Percentage who worry that Americans will be less welcome in other parts of the world: 63

Source: World Learning.

Rank of Asia among the regions with the highest salary increases forecast for 2008, according to a survey conducted by ECA International, the world's largest membership organization for international human resources: 1

Ranks of India, Argentina, Indonesia and Russia among the countries in the world with the highest predicted salary increases for 2008: 1, 2, 3, 4

Ranks of Switzerland, Japan, France and Austria, and Germany among the countries in the world with the lowest predicted salary increases for 2008: 1, 2, 3 (tie), 4

Source: ECA International.

Year Robert Royce of Woodstock, Vt., used several hundred feet of rope, the engine out of an old Model T Ford and some ingenuity to make the first ski tow in the U.S. at Gilbert's Hill, according to the U.S. Census Bureau: 1934

Estimated number of ski resorts across the U.S.: 500

Estimated number of times per year these resorts are visited by winter sports enthusiasts: 57 million

Source: U.S. Census Bureau.

Average salary for technology professionals in 2007, according to Dice Salary Survey: $74,570

Rank of Silicon Valley as the tech pros' highest paying metro area: 1

Average salary for tech pros in Silicon Valley: $93,876

Ranks of Boston ($83,465), Baltimore/Washington, D.C. ($81,750), Los Angeles ($81,039) and New York ($80,770) on the list of highest paying metro areas: 2, 3, 4, 5

Source: Dice Holdings Inc.

Percentage of workers who say they have either accepted or left a job due to the condition of the building and/or the amenities offered, according to a national survey by Blumberg Capital Partners: 33

Percentage of workers who described their office buildings and office environments as either "bland," "dumpy" or "stodgy": 47

Ranks of covered parking, subsidized cafeteria or restaurant, fitness or workout center, and on-site day care on the list of the most important office building amenities: 1, 2, 3, 4

Source: Blumberg Capital.

Minimum statutory employee notice period in the U.S. and Mexico between resignation and departure (for white-collar employees with one year's service), according to data from Mercer's Global HR Factbook: None

Minimum statutory employee notice period in Ireland, Hong Kong, Singapore and the U.K.: 1 week

Minimum statutory employee notice period in Cyprus, Finland, Malta, Russia, Ukraine, Bolivia and Spain: 2 weeks

Minimum statutory employee notice period in Czech Republic, Slovakia and Switzerland: 2 months

Source: Mercer.

Percentage of U.S. adults who say they are very or somewhat likely to reduce their overall debt level in 2008, according to an Experian/Gallup poll: 73

Percentage who say they plan to cut back on entertainment outlays: 49

Percentage of U.S. adults who say they are not likely to read a book or take a course on personal finance: 58

Percentage who say they are not likely to reduce the number of credit cards they have: 56

Source: Experian Consumer Direct.

Percentage of companies that have made policy changes to better accommodate working parents, according to a survey of senior executives developed by Office Team: 62

Source: OfficeTeam.

Ranks of the Dominican Republic, Hawaii, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and Aruba as the top island getaways for U.S. travelers, based on recent traffic for these destinations on tripadvisor.com: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Source: TripAdvisor.

Percentage of Boomers who said they are doing financial planning, and their goals are set and on track, according to a survey by KeyBank and Zogby International: 51�Percentage who believe they will or could run out of money in their lifetime: 67� ��Source: Keycorp-Consumer. Contact Cindy Spitz at 216-689-5640 or email cindy_l_spitz@keybank.com.�•••

Percentage of Americans who believe U.S. foreign policy is driving dissatisfaction with America abroad, according to a poll by the non-profit organizations World Learning and the Aspen Institute: 75�Percentage of Americans who are very or somewhat worried that the US is losing the trust and friendship of other countries: 73�Percentage who worry that Americans will be less welcome in other parts of the world: 63��Source: World Learning. Contact Sir/Madam at (802) 257-7751 or email info@worldlearning.org.�•••

Idle Thought

"I've made an odd discovery. Every time I talk to a savant I feel quite sure that happiness is no longer a possibility. Yet when I talk with my gardener, I'm convinced of the opposite." -- Bertrand Russell, philosopher, mathematician

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

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