Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For March 23, 2008

Percentage of U.S. workers who say they have become very sleepy or fallen asleep at work in the past month, according to a survey conducted by the National Sleep Foundation: 29

Percentage of U.S. workers who say they have arrived late at work in the past month because of sleepiness: 12

Percentage of U.S. workers with more than one job who say they get a good night's sleep only a "few times" a month or less: 43

Number of Americans who chronically suffer from sleep problems and disorders: 50 million

Source: National Sleep Foundation.

Ranks of Warren Buffett (net worth: $63 billion) and Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim Helu ($60 billion) among the world's richest people as of Feb. 11, 2008, according to a study conducted by Forbes: 1, 2

Number of Americans among the world's 20 richest people in 2006: 10

Number of Americans among the world's 20 richest people in 2008: 4

Number of Indians among the world's 10 richest people (more than any other country): 4

Source: Forbes.

Cost of traffic crashes each year in the U.S., according to a study conducted by the AAA that calculates cost based on property damage, lost earnings, medical costs, emergency services, legal costs and travel delays: $164.2 billion

Cost of car crashes each year in New York and Los Angeles, the two largest U.S. cities with the highest cumulative annual car crash costs, respectively: $18 billion, $10 billion

Source: AAA.

Percentage of small-business owners who say they plan to retire and stop working completely in their businesses in the long run, according to the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index survey: 11

Percentage of small-business owners who say they expect their small businesses to keep going after they stop working: 62

Percentage who feel their businesses will stop: 33

Source: Gallup.

U.S. homeowners' equity in their homes in the fourth quarter of 2007, according to the U.S. Federal Reserve: 47.9 percent

Year in which Americans' equity in their homes last fell below 50 percent, based on data tracked since 1945: Never

Source: U.S. Federal Reserve.

Percentage of employees who live paycheck to paycheck, according to a recent study by the American Payroll Association: 67

In 2008, a leap year, number of extra paychecks that employees paid on Tuesdays or Wednesdays can expect to receive: 1

Source: American Payroll Association.

Percentage of Americans who filed their tax returns by mid-February 2008, according to a survey conducted by BIGresearch: 28.5

Percentage of Americans who will prepare their tax return using a computer software program: 31.5

Percentage who will do it by hand: 14.7

Percentage who will use an accountant: 23.5

Percentage who will use a tax preparation service: 18.7

Percentage who will have a spouse, friend or other relative handle it: 11.6

Source: BIGresearch.

Percentage of workers who said their jobs would be more difficult if they did not work in the same office as their supervisors, according to a survey developed by OfficeTeam: 48

Of this group, percentage who felt it would be much more difficult: 27

Percentage of managers who said it is important that all staff members work in the same location: 58

Source: OfficeTeam.

Percentage of college students seeking jobs who say they expect it will take them only three or fewer months to find a job, according to a poll conducted by CollegeRecruiter in March 2008: 74

Percentage who said the same in January and February 2008, respectively: 69, 65


Dollars invested in 221 "clean technology" deals worldwide in 2007, according to data released by Dow Jones VentureSource: $3 billion

Percentage increase from the $2.1 billion invested in 173 similar deals in 2006: 43

Percentage of global clean-technology investment in 2007 accounted for by the United States, according to the report: 83

Source: Dow Jones VentureOne.

Idle Thought

"Wisdom doesn't necessarily come with age. Sometimes age just shows up all by itself." -- Tom Wilson

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at johnmacintyre(at)

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